Church-Hacker #17: A Meditative Fifth Sunday

Your bishopric will love this fifth-Sunday idea from BCC buddy Chris Gordon:
We tried this on a 5th Sunday in EQ last year and I thought it went well. Our bishop at the time wasn’t a big fan of ward-level 5th Sunday meetings, so we often had to improvise. One 5th Sunday we brought in an iPod playing hymns softly and spent the time in quiet devotional. It was a reminder to find quiet times of contemplation, reading, studying, and prayer.
The only thing that derailed it a bit was my forgetting to exclude MoTab’s latest rendition of “Amazing Grace”–complete with bagpipe accompaniment–from the playlist. (Scottish reverence isn’t.) Fortunately, we were all reminded that the Spirit is not, in fact, a rodent to be scared off at the slightest disruption, so no harm done.


Got your own Church-Hacker idea? Submit it! (The church-hacking guidelines are here.) See all entries in this series here.


  1. Can’t do this in RS. Have too many sisters wanting to pick their favorite hymn, end up singing Primary songs about Nephi and doing silly hand motions.

  2. I think this is a great idea.

  3. Great idea. I’d love to have that happen, and I’ll try to remember to suggest it to someone who actually has some influence over the decisions.

  4. Not sure I could meditate with all those hymns playing, but I suppose you’d need them to drown out the noise from the hallway and other classrooms. Sounds like nice alternative to try.

  5. Jessie T. says:

    Sounds like a Quaker Meeting. Minus the music, of course. No music for the Quakers. They base their meetings on the scripture: Where two or more are gathered, in my name, there will I be also. They get together on Sunday to meditate and, very rarely, share the product of their meditation. It’s not a testimony where the members are afraid of silence. The whole point of the Meeting is silence, with an occasional spoken thought.

    It’s lovely. But hard for little kids.

  6. How about just let us all meditate at home? Sacrament meeting and then home. No other meetings on that day…period. We could teach the kids the importance of meditation and being quiet for two hours at home.

  7. My ward has too many people with iPhones and iPads for this to work. Half the Quorum would be playing angry birds.

  8. An interesting thought. I wonder how well this would work more than once. I suspect some would get better at it over time while others would find it increasingly frustrating.

  9. #7EAG,
    and the other half would be jealous

  10. Yeah, in my ward an hour of meditation would reveal the haves and the have-nots. Those with Smart phones, iPhones, iPads would hunker down for some serious Solitare. The rest of us poor Luddites would be left with our thoughts.

  11. If you live in my ward, you are invited to hang out in the clerks’ office…

  12. Do you think it would be possible to do this (with adults only of course) but as them to please “check the i/smart/whatevers at the door to pick up after the meeting?” Or, what if some discriminatory enforcement was applied: invitation for those who can’t keep their phones/pads in their pockets are invited to sit on the “other” side of the room. I think Chris has a really nice idea and wish more people weren’t afraid of silence. We apparently need more practice, as I see adults as almost as bad as children with needing something to fill the air or space rather than seeking the spirit in silence.

    A variation on this for children would be a lesson where they get to go outside and sit in silence for a minute or two (or whatever their attention can stand). Listening in silence helps us hear birds, wind, etc., the world around us, and can be used to illustrate hearing the “still, small voice” in a world full of distractions.

  13. Sitting in silence is one idea. Walking a labyrinth is another idea. Even though LDS churches don’t have lovely meditation gardens with a labyrinth marked with bricks, you can lay a portable floor labyrinth (canvas?) on the floor of the cultural hall. ( For a YW activity, we first discussed meditation and labyrinths, and then I took the girls to an outdoor labyrinth at a nearby retirement home for nuns. Should be a regular thing for teens and adults.

  14. YES! Silent corn maze Relief Society. LOVE IT.

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