specific song not to be sung in regular mtg?

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Quicky
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specific song not to be sung in regular mtg?

Postby Quicky » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:51 pm

10 or 12 years ago I was serving in a Bishopric when we got a letter from SLC explaining that 'The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning' was a very sacred song and should be reserved for Spirit-directed occasions or for temple dedications. Not to be sung as a part of a regular Sacrament meeting or normal procedure for a Stake conference. Nobody seems to remember this direction, and a Seventy who recently visited our Stake mentioned his disappointment that not many people know the words to this song and he would like to hear it more often. Does anyone remember this direction or have I completely lost my mind? Thanks, KQ

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Thats news to me

Postby ecawley1 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:37 pm

I would think that if it's official policy, it would have been elaborated in one of the General Handbooks (you know, the ones being updated next month).

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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:19 pm

If such a letter exists your stake president has access to all the current letters on-line through the Official Communication Library (OCL) located at https://apps.lds.org/letters.

I have never heard such instruction.
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Postby techgy » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:18 am

Quicky wrote:10 or 12 years ago I was serving in a Bishopric when we got a letter from SLC explaining that 'The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning' was a very sacred song and should be reserved for Spirit-directed occasions or for temple dedications. Not to be sung as a part of a regular Sacrament meeting or normal procedure for a Stake conference. Nobody seems to remember this direction, and a 70 who recently visited our Stake mentioned his disappointment that not many people know the words to this song and he would like to hear it more often. Does anyone remember this direction or have I completely lost my mind? Thanks, KQ


I would have to believe that any hymn in the church hymnal could be sung in Sacrament meeting. I served in a Bishopric several years ago and never heard of anything like that. Perhaps the church Music page will offer some ideas.
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Postby zaneclark » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:28 am

jdlessley wrote:If such a letter exists your stake president has access to all the current letters on-line through the Official Communication Library (OCL) located at https://apps.lds.org/letters.

I have never heard such instruction.


What is the access level for this site? I am an assistant ward clerk and couldn't open it.

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Postby eblood66 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:56 am

zaneclark wrote:What is the access level for this site? I am an assistant ward clerk and couldn't open it.


Stake president only.

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Postby aebrown » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:56 am

Quicky wrote:10 or 12 years ago I was serving in a Bishopric when we got a letter from SLC explaining that 'The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning' was a very sacred song and should be reserved for Spirit-directed occasions or for temple dedications. Not to be sung as a part of a regular Sacrament meeting or normal procedure for a Stake conference. Nobody seems to remember this direction, and a 70 who recently visited our Stake mentioned his disappointment that not many people know the words to this song and he would like to hear it more often. Does anyone remember this direction or have I completely lost my mind?


I doubt you've completely lost your mind, but our stake has a complete file of all official letters going back farther than 12 years ago, and there is no such letter that was sent to all units. Perhaps it was some more local communication from a particular general authority that did not have broad applicability.

In any case, there's nothing like that in the Church Handbook of Instructions. So since you can't find the supposed letter, and it's not in the Handbook, I don't think that any such restriction applies.
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Postby JamesAnderson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:10 am

What is referred to is not the hymn, but an arrangement of it known as the 'Hosanna Anthem'.

To make it more readily available for events such as temple dedications, it was put in 'The Choirbook' in 1980 and which is probably still in print today, it is the last item in that book. There is a note at the bottom of the first page of the arrangement indicating that this arrangement should be reserved for special occasions such as temple dedications.

It also tells how the parts not specifically tied to dedications can be used by taking those specifically for dedications out, and where they are. In fact, in 1999 we dedicated a stake center, and the person who did the music had one of our organists arrange it so that the just the introductory 'Hosannnas' and the final two verses as you see them were sung, and instead of the parts typically reserved for the dedications the first two verses of the hymn from the hymnbook were sung, and the last two were sung with the five-part arrangement seen in the Choirbook.

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Postby lajackson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:27 am

Quicky wrote:10 or 12 years ago I was serving in a Bishopric when we got a letter from SLC explaining that 'The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning' was a very sacred song and should be reserved for Spirit-directed occasions or for temple dedications. Not to be sung as a part of a regular Sacrament meeting or normal procedure for a Stake conference. Nobody seems to remember this direction, and a 70 who recently visited our Stake mentioned his disappointment that not many people know the words to this song and he would like to hear it more often. Does anyone remember this direction or have I completely lost my mind? Thanks, KQ


I do not recall that letter. And each general authority has his own idea of what should be sung at a stake conference. That is one of the reasons he gets to approve the music in advance. [grin]

Your best source of guidance is in the hymnbook itself. In the section entitled, Selecting the Right Hymn, it says that not every hymn is suitable for every Church-related occasion. As an example at the most basic level, the sacrament hymn ought to be, well, a sacrament hymn.

And while the Spirit of God may be burning like a fire, I personally think it makes a better closing hymn than opening hymn. And, sadly, I have been in a few meetings where another hymn might have been substituted in its place, even at the end of the meeting.

Thy Spirit, Lord, Has Stirred Our Souls is another hymn that seems to work better as a closing hymn. I also found it very curious once when we sang Sing We Now At Parting as an opening hymn.

The Spirit of God is a hymn that is sung at temple dedications, usually as the closing hymn. As such, it has special meaning to me, particularly since I have participated on three occasions inside temples singing this hymn.

And yet I have felt the Spirit just a strongly in other meetings when this hymn was sung at the conclusion of a sacrament meeting or stake conference session where the Spirit was already abundantly present, and felt most comfortable doing so.

The only specific hymn selection instruction I recall, other that what is in the hymnbook and in the Music section of the CHI, is that we ought to sing hymns of the restoration at stake conference. I note, however, that this specific instruction is not in the section entitled, Selecting Hymns for Stake Conference, found in the back of the hymnbook.

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Postby lajackson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:21 pm

lajackson wrote:I note, however, that this specific instruction is not in the section entitled, Selecting Hymns for Stake Conference, found in the back of the hymnbook.


Upon further review, what is in the section at the back of the hymnbook entitled, Selecting Hymns for Stake Conference, is a list of 18 hymns that are considered "standard, well-known hymns" and "are often the best choice for stake conference, particularly if hymnbooks are not available for the entire congregation."

The list of hymns includes, you guessed it, "The Spirit of God."


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