Cutting Closing Hymns Short

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If you were the ward chorister and Sacrament meeting went over time (long-winded speakers, four baby blessings, too many testimonies, or whatever), would you shorten how many verses were sung for the closing hymn, or would you sing them all?

18 thoughts on “Cutting Closing Hymns Short

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by that, JM. are you saying you are in favour of the first or the second? Or are you indifferent to either?

  2. Might be academic: doesn’t the guy presiding get to say whether verses get cut?

    As a person in the pews who is feeling desperate when the meeting runs over, my wish is for verses to be cut.

    That said, as chorister my turf would be increasing opportunities to worship through singing. Sing all verses. The bish is supposed to be corraling the boorish who go over their time. Cutting verses is only facilitating the problem.

  3. I think it would depend on the ward, Johnna.

    I have to agree with you though. I sure am want to get out of there. That being said, singing is much more interactive.

    If I was the chorister, I would sure be ticked off to have my songs be the thing that gets the shaft. Especially considering that songs of the righteous are prayers (D&C 25:12).

  4. I’d probably just glare at the back of the too-long speaker, hoping he/she would feel my evil vibes and hurry up.

    As a congregant, I’d prefer to sing all the verses of the closing hymn. I’m perfectly ok with some time being taken away from Sunday School.

    Obliquely related, the guidelines for using Hymns includes this statement:

    “Selecting Verses to Be Sung

    You need not feel compelled to sing all the verses of a hymn unless the message is otherwise incomplete. However, do not routinely shorten a hymn by singing just the first one or two verses. Singing the verses printed below the music is encouraged.”

    It doesn’t answer the question, but suggests both shortening is allowed but not encouraged.

  5. Let the axe fall, meaning cut it short.

    I don’t care what the reason is, a meeting should never run over time. It is completely disrespectful to the entire congregation and to the instructors who have worked hard to prepare lessons in their alloted time. At the risk of going Ad Hom. any presiding officer who cannot control his meeting and keep it on time is an idiot and a push-over.

  6. I know our RS policy is that all verses of the closing hymn must be sung–therefore the lesson must end on time.

    Of course, the motivation might also be to provide some parents to the primary kids wandering about when the 3-hour block ends.

  7. As a congregant I want out of there on time but if I was chorister I would certainly be making my noise heard with the member of the bishopric who was responsible. Our Sacrament almost always starts late. I know that the Bp doesn’t want to have to go over all the announcements once again at the end of the meeting for those who missed them at the beginning but come on…. why should those who are late be rewarded and those that are on time be punished?

    In Regina on the pulpit was a little red bulb. You could not see this bulb from the congregation. For the last speaker at 2 minutes before end of meeting the light would come on signaling you had 2 minutes to wrap up. You rarely ran over. This way the chorister had all their time and the other meetings started and ended on time.

    On testimnoy Sunday in our ward now the bishopric routinely states that we have till 5 after the hour to bear our testimonies. But sure as shooting someone will stand up just before it is time and of course they won’t go up to them and say sorry we are out of time. And it usually is someone who is going on and on about their last vacation or some nonsense and then we are late once again.

    I say bring on the little red light or a very strong minded music director!

  8. JM said: “any presiding officer who cannot control his meeting and keep it on time is an idiot and a push-over.”

    What should the presiding officer do if he feels inspired the meeting should run over time?

  9. I can’t say I have strong feelings either way, as it is a fairly rare occurance. After a 1 minute ponder I say, the chorister should make the call. Whether they have direction from the bishop for such situations, or rely on their own promptings…it’s their stewardship. Sunday school doesn’t trump hymns.

  10. I’d almost lump this in with the “We need to get through the lesson material” syndrome.

    Our Sunday worship meetings are not designed to cover all the material all the time. There’s just too much of it to get through. We meet every week, so there is ample time for repetition and covering things that got missed before.

    A presiding officer needs to quit trying to jam pack their meetings with more than is necessary, just like the gospel doctrine teacher needs to quit interrupting and cutting short a good doctrinal discussion so the class can “get through the material”

    If hymns are so important, then perhaps we don’t need 4 speakers on the program.

    Everyone always comments on how much they like the Christmas program because it involves more singing than usual. Why not do this more often?

  11. ‘so the class can “get through the material”’


    I thought there was a fair amount of repetition of topics in gospel doctrine class. Why would anyone need to stop discussion to make sure they covered the material?

    It’s not like there’s a government departmental at the end of the year or anything…

  12. I’m not sure. It’s a mystery to me.

    My guess would be that the instructor has spent hours and hours reading all sorts of material and they feel that the class owes it to them to hear everything that was prepared.

    All of the instructor books / manuals I have ever seen specifically mention that there is probably too much material in the lesson to cover in one class, so the instructor should choose a subset of material for discussion.

  13. I think there’ a mindset — for whatever reason — to complete everything in a lesson. Maybe instructor’s don’t feel comfortable determining that one principle is “less important” than the other. Or maybe they think all the material was put there for a purpose, so it all need to be shared. Who knows?

    “Why not do this more often?”

    I would totally agree with this. Particularly at Easter.

  14. I might even go to Sacrament meeting if they sung hymns (on key). The hymns make me feel more spiritual than the speakers do.

  15. Whenever I serve as chorister, if this situation comes up, I ask the presiding authority what he wants to do and I follow his instructions. I do think it’s too bad, though, that the hymns always seem to be the first thing cut. For some reason they’re considered least important. They’re just as integral to our worship as any other element of the meeting.

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