Our little branch of the Church is growing more like a ward every Sunday. We now have Programs! Maybe your ward calls them Bulletins, but we still say Programs, and love that we now have someone--Kathy--who is called to produce them for Sunday meetings.
(It looks like my blog post today is a bit organic, because I didn't intend to type about programs, but that is what came out. Maybe if I meander around a bit, I'll finally get to my intended topic.)
Of course, with a program, Kathy needs content, and not just any content, but hymns and speakers and announcements. She is doing a good job collecting the material, but some of us are letting her down by not giving her the proper content in time for her to prepare the program for Sunday.
We have a new chorister for Sacrament Meetings. She is a lovely teen, and being musically inclined, is perfect for the job. She and I have decided to switch off months in choosing the hymns for the meeting. It's always nice to know what the topic or theme of the meetings will be so the hymns will correlate. This is my month, and the theme for the entire month, leading up to Easter, is the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I chose some lovely hymns, some of which I hesitated over because they were not the ones we've been singing over and over, week after week. I squared my shoulders and put them on the list, reasoning that surely by the last verse, members of the congregation would become familiar with the hymn, if they didn't already know it.
Imagine my surprise and joy when today's hymns were sung with gusto and reverence and certitude, all in the right places. We began with my biggest worry: Hymn 65, "Come, All Ye Saints Who Dwell on Earth." I need not have worried. They knew it!
We haven't sung the Sacrament hymn I chose for a while, but they knew that one, too: Hymn 182, "We'll Sing All Hail." Between the speakers, I wanted something a bit lively, so our "Break Hymn" (surely that's not the official term. Does anyone know what it is?) was Hymn 66, "Rejoice, the Lord is King!" They sang. They rejoiced!
The Closing Hymn had concerned me a bit, but the congregation knew it: the prayerful Hymn 66, "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me."
I should have known not to fret. I should simply have rejoiced in the opportunity to present hymns of the Atonement and the Resurrection and known that all would be well. The month is not over, but I am inclined to "Rejoice, the Lord is King!" To adore Him, to give thanks, and sing, and triumph evermore.