Sabbath Day in the LDS church
The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints find great importance in meeting once a week, on Sunday mornings, for church services. This practice has been part of the Mormon religion since it was founded by Joseph Smith in the early 19th century. Times of learning, singing, and interacting with one another, are elements of this get-together that participants find valuable.
Mormon churches look similar to Christian churches externally and internally. Externally, the buildings are often white, surrounded by a well-manicured property. They often have a steeple and a placard next to the entry doors, identifying it as an LDS church. Inside, Mormon churches have a sanctuary as well as many smaller rooms to accommodate Sunday school class, which are divided up mostly by age and gender. (Also: compare the LDS church and the Christian on this comparison chart.)
Unlike Mormon temples, visitors are always welcome to attend these services.
Going to church in the Mormon religion
Regular Mormon worship takes place on Sundays in buildings called churches or chapels. The dress code is generally formal - dresses or skirts are considered appropriate for women, while men generally wear dress slacks and dress shirts, usually with a tie.
The service begins with hymns and prayers, followed by the Sacrament Meeting, the main part of a Mormon service. This lasts a little over an hour and involves the whole community together. During the service the members receive a sacramental communion of bread and water, during which they remember the Last Supper, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which in Mormon thought occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane, and their own baptismal promises to serve the Lord and keep his commandments. Visitors should pass the bread and water along without partaking.
A Mormon service also includes several short talks or sermons given by members of the congregation (ranging in age from young to old) chosen by the bishop. These talks range from quite formal doctrinal lectures on Mormon beliefs to more informal chats about the application of faith to family life. After the main service are two more hours' worth of meetings and Sunday education - visitors can either join these or leave after the first meeting.
Also see: Baptism of the dead in Mormon practice
- - "What to expect at Sunday meetings." Mormon.org.
- "How to Attend a Mormon Service if You're Not Mormon." eHow.com.