I’ve always wanted to compare the sacrament prayers to see what the differences were. So, this week I did it. I’ve arranged the exact wording of each prayers in vertical columns and aligned the text where the words match.
First thing I noticed was in the section I labeled “Covenant Requirements.” During sacrament meeting, the prayer on the bread is always first. During that first prayer, the covenant requirements are:
- Take Christ’s name upon you
- Always remember him
- Keep his commandments
During the second prayer, when it gets to that part, these are not repeated. (I guess since we already committed to those requirements in the first prayer.) The only exception to that is the requirement, “Always remember him.”, which is stated twice. Why is this repeated? Perhaps Heavenly knows that we are mortal and we forget. One of the challenges we have is remembering… our blessings, our covenants, our manners, our… home teaching. Pretty much anything.
It reminds me of Helaman when he said to his sons,”…remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye mush build your foundation…” (Helaman 5:12)
Not just one “remember”, but two.
It has been pointed out to me (by Nick Olsen) that the word “willing” proceeds the covenants. It suggests that you’re taking part in a volunteer action, but also could imply that you may fall short of accomplishing the three things mentioned. Perhaps as long as we are “willing” (in other words trying) to strive to be righteous, then you’re good.
It’s an interesting thought. And that’s the whole point of the sacrament, right? We strive to be righteous through the week. We aren’t perfect, but we show up next Sunday WILLING to make the same covenant to strive to be righteous again. This process sounds monotonous, but really its designed to allow us to have hope as we progress to higher and higher plains. Over time, keeping commandments becomes easier because we’ve allowed this process to change our hearts.
Your Thoughts On this!?
I think there is more to this Sacrament Prayers comparison. I get the feeling that right in front of us is something important. Maybe you can see what I can’t. Did you notice any other observations? Love to hear your comments below!
If you’d like to download the full size pdf, it’s here.