Partaking the sacrament count

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spieren
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Partaking the sacrament count

Postby spieren » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:14 pm

I just got asked to keep track of how many people are partaking of the sacrament. I'm in a new ward and stake, but as a clerk in three previous wards and stakes I have never had to provide this statistic before. It is not asked in the quarterly report. When I questioned it I was told it was common practice.

Does anyone else get asked to provide this statistic?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:36 pm

How many people are attending sacrament is certainly an important number - the ward's budget is based on it. But I've never heard of tracking the number of people partaking of the sacrament before. That has to be a local practice.

Truth be told, I'm not sure as I'd be comfortable with that. Leaders have been told NOT to track temple attendance. This strikes me as something very similar.

I suppose it's possible that a stake president asked for it at one time. That would have caused the wards in the area to do it and perhaps the idea that "it's common".
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lionelwalters
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Postby lionelwalters » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:45 pm

Having served in two bishoprics and now a stake presidency, I would say that it is unusual to record those who actually take the sacrament, but can't cite a reason not to do it if it has been requested by the bishop. I think it would be inappropriate to record names for this purpose though, just as the handbook instructs us not to record names or even numbers of those who attend the Temple (HB 1, 3.2.3). From a practical perspective, it may be easiest just to count the remaining caps in the trays at the end of the meeting...

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:56 pm

I have myself never heard of this, and never had anyone asked me when I was a historical clerk and was the one taking the attendance count, to count only those who had participated in the ordinance of the sacrament. And that was in the 80s and I had never heard of anything nor found anything written then, before then, or up until now, about any such practice of counting only those that participated in the ordinance having happened. With an occasional very rare exception caused by unrelated factors, it's always the total number that were in the meeting that are counted.

Given that the count usually includes any nonmembers that may be attending, and some may take the sacrament (this is noted in the Aaronic Priesthood section of Handbook 2), other nonmembers may not although the Handbook says they may if they desire to, so counting only those who took the sacrament is an inaccurate way to get the count for purposes of counting those who attended sacrament meeting.

In fact, I've heard that in a few places, sacrament meeting attendance has been over 100 percent due to the number of nonmembers attending, and the high activity and retention of new members in those few areas where this is happening.

jtsummie
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Postby jtsummie » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:37 am

JamesAnderson wrote:I have myself never heard of this, and never had anyone asked me when I was a historical clerk and was the one taking the attendance count, to count only those who had participated in the ordinance of the sacrament.


I beleve it may be miscommunication. It is probably what James states above, possibly asking for the sacrament attendance count durning the sacrament. I know in our ward there is a big rush of members coming in when we release the priesthood to sit with their families.
As far as members not taking the sacrament, although we get the choice every Sunday, the bishop should already know the members he is working with that cant take it.

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:45 am

We had a ward clerk who was concerned about people coming and going during Sacrament Meeting and the number of people who might have taken the sacrament while staying in the foyer. So he would count attendance "in the normal way" and also count the number of sacrament cups used, then create some kind of average (or just use the greater number). But this was just one clerk's personal technique and not based on a specific church policy. The objective was simply to have an accurate attendance count and never to track how many individuals were unworthy or anything like that. Seems like that would be very difficult to track anyway, given the number of non-members or young children who may-or-may-not partake, how many people arrive late, etc.

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Postby lajackson » Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:27 am

spieren wrote:I just got asked to keep track of how many people are partaking of the sacrament. . . .
Does anyone else get asked to provide this statistic?


I have never been asked to provide this information. Perhaps they wish to compare attendance with sacrament partaking. Or if they are close to needing to add another water tray (and deacon to pass).

The easiest way to figure it out is to count the number of water cups remaining and subtract it from the number of cups available, usually 36 per tray.

This is not a proper way to count regular sacrament meeting attendance, of course.

spieren
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Postby spieren » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:32 pm

Thanks for your responses. I received an email last night after I asked for clarification after I posted originally ( bringing up the same concerns found here) and was told that many years ago some one had asked for this number but they didn't want it anymore just the regular number of sacrament attendance. So I guess it was a mistake. Thanks again.


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