A Look at Latter-day Saint Worship During COVID-19

From Washington, D.C., to Johannesburg

Formal church services were suspended in March to help prevent the spread of the virus and the decision severely impacted the ability of Church members to partake of the sacrament, a sacred weekly ritual to symbolically remember the body and blood of Jesus Christ. However, with the guidance of Church leaders and faith of the members, the administering of the sacrament has moved forward in powerful ways. As the ability to return to churches gradually begins, members also express gratitude for the opportunity.

The timeless elasticity of this teaching on the geographic parameters of proper worship of God has been on full display in the Latter-day Saint world since March 2020. That is when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with the rest of the world, began adapting to the challenging global environment brought about by COVID-19.

Like many other people of faith, Latter-day Saints in normal times gather at their local chapels for weekly worship. For most Church members, this happens on Sundays. Following the pattern established in scripture, this involves the administration of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Bread and water, symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, are distributed by members of the priesthood to each congregant, one by one. This sacrament meeting is followed by a second hour of worship that focuses on learning the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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