Has anyone else in the BCC community besides me seen Worship Hour on KBYU TV? It airs in the morning and again in the afternoon on Sundays. Where I live it is only available on satellite TV, so I hadn’t seen it up until a few weeks ago.
It is an interesting program. It shows what we would recognize as part of sacrament meeting, the part between the administration of the sacrament and the closing prayer. As the program begins, young men are shown blessing and passing the sacrament, and a voiceover explains what is happening. Then the bishop stands up, thanks the Aaronic priesthood holders for their reverence, and announces the speakers and musical numbers. The program is filmed in a typical ward building, and anyone who has ever attended church in Utah will immediately feel right at home. The interior of the chapel looks just like every other chapel you have seen. And although I haven’t lived in Utah for decades, I can still recognize the way my tribe speaks, and it is music to my ears. When the bishop announces that Br. Olsen will speak to us, he says Olt-sen. Br. Olt-sen then stands to speak and makes the obligatory attempt at humor by announcing that he was assigned the topic of forgiveness and he has tried to practice forgiveness all week long by forgiving the bishop for asking him to speak. And when the choir sings Our Savior’s Love, they pronounce the first word so it sounds exactly like _are_. “Are Save-yerrrr’s love”. “Are hearrrrts rejoice”.
But there are some other things which are not typical. First, even though the show is called Worship Hour, it only lasts a half hour. Half hour church. HALF HOUR CHURCH! The talks were superb – short, well-prepared, and full of personal testimony, not quotes from conference or the magazines. There were two talks and two musical numbers, so the time was about evenly divided between speaking and singing, and the songs featured arrangements which are not found in the hymnal. Also, the bishop noted that one of the speakers, a woman, served in the ward as Sunday School secretary. I have never seen that before, and have always been told that we do not call men and women to serve together in presidencies. But this was in Provo and it was shown on KBYU, so I know it must be true. Perhaps the most atypical part of the meeting was that when the camera pans the congregation, almost everybody you can see there is middle-aged. There are very few children and teenagers, and nobody gets up to take a crying infant to the foyer. I also noted ironically that even on the Sabbath the bills must be paid and Mammon must be served, so we saw commercials for dehydrated food storage and boot camps for wayward teenagers.
I wonder who KBYU is trying to reach with this program? I can see how it would be a wonderful service for shut-ins who cannot attend services in their wards. But there is also an element of outreach, since the narrator explains what is happening with the sacrament. If anyone else has seen this program, I’d like to hear what you think of it.