Like most religions, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has many rituals. We discussed a few in part one and in part two I will present a few more. Rituals are specific things or actions members do for their religion. Rituals can span from something each member does personally or the whole church does together. In this article, we will look at sacrament, tithing, and prayer.
Like many churches, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holds weekly religious meetings each Sunday. The sacrament meeting includes all members. Though anyone may join the meeting. During this meeting, several people from the audience will give talks but the meeting is named after the ritual performed during this meeting called the sacrament.
The sacrament represents the breaking of bread and wine Christ did on his last Passover with his disciples. The bread represents the body of Christ, while the water represents his blood. By taking the sacrament the members remember Christ and remember their baptism and the promises to follow Christ.
The sacrament starts with a song the congregation sings while older young men around 16 or older break bread into pieces on trays. When they have finished and the song ends, one of the young men says a specific prayer found in The Book of Mormon. At the end of the prayer, the older young men give the bread trays to younger young men around 12 or older. These young men take the trays and pass them around to the congregation.
After passing the bread to all who want it, the young men return the trays to the older young men. Then they repeat the process from the prayer to passing out with the water. The prayer over the water is slightly different but can also be found in The Book of Mormon. They pass the water in little cups, already prepared with water before the meeting.
Granted changes have been made for the COVID pandemic. Still the concept of what happens stayed the same. The bread and water represent Christ and his sacrifice for us. Specific prayers are said over the bread and water. Then the young men pass it to the congregation. This ritual happens weekly.
Most churches you enter will ask for money. They use this money in various ways. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints give money quietly. They call it tithing. For members to be considered in good standing with their church they need to pay a full tithing.
For tithing, members pay 10% of their increase or paycheck. Basically, if a member made 100 dollars, the member would give 10 dollars to the church. They can pay tithing directly to the bishop, the leader of the congregation, or online through the church website.
The money goes to pay for upkeep or new church buildings, and temples, or to help others. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints uses these funds and others to help others and grow their church.
Prayer is not specific to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Many religions include a type of prayer. I included this as a ritual since members consider prayer as a way to communicate with their God. Leaders encourage members to pray at least morning and night by themselves and with their families. Furthermore, leaders encourage members to keep a prayer in their heart, or always turn to God during the day.
All members including the youngest that can speak give prayers in meetings and possibly in homes. Most prayers start out addressing God, calling him Heavenly Father. They then thank Him for the blessings received and ask for anything needed. They close with “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen”. Each prayer should be different, except when specified as in sacrament and baptism.
Through these rituals, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints feel closer to their God. With sacrament, they remember Him more. Tithing gives them a way to help their church and others. Finally, prayer gives them a way to communicate with their God and help them feel closer to him. These rituals help members live close to their God on a daily basis.