The errand of angels is given to women

August 20, 2004 | 7 comments
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In an earlier post, Kristine mentioned the consternation felt by ward members who had to sing feminine-language hymns in a sacrament meeting. Was her experience an isolated incident? Grasshopper reports the result when his own ward sang (gasp!) As Sisters in Zion.

7 Responses to The errand of angels is given to women

  1. Derek on August 20, 2004 at 8:42 pm

    When we would sing, “We Are All Enlisted,” my father used to substitute the words “sailors in the navy” for “soldiers in the army”. This was back when he was still in the Navy and we were in a mostly-Army ward.

  2. gst on August 20, 2004 at 9:41 pm

    Along the same lines, officers might sing “We All Have Commissions.”

  3. Ethesis (Stephen M) on August 20, 2004 at 11:48 pm

    “We are all enlisted, no officers are we, no officers are we, no officers are we” is the way I remember it as a kid.

  4. Antisthenes on August 21, 2004 at 1:11 am

    If you sing the lyrics to ‘We Sisters in Zion’ to the tune of ‘Ye Elders of Israel’, or vice versa, does it cancel out?

  5. Ami on August 21, 2004 at 5:59 am

    I grew up thinking “Ye Elders of Isreal” was a *family* song (Elder is my maiden name). My parents, two younger sisters and I would sing it for FHE, while washing dishes, on long car trips, etc. (I know it sounds a bit bizarre, but if you found a song which prominently featured _your_ last name, I bet you would add it to your family’s repertoire….but I digress…). I was surprised, as a laurel, to find it in the hymnal and to discover that it was meant to be sung by men only. There are a few other “men only” songs that are incredibly beautiful (“O Home Beloved”, #337….a patriotic – not priesthood-centric – song) or just plain cool (“The Priesthood of Our Lord”, #320….catchy tune that can be sung in canon, which I did BTW when I was Primary Chorister -exchange ‘children’ for ‘brethren’).

    As a former Sacrament Meeting Chorister and current middle school choir teacher (and yes, I’ve read the thread…. :)chorister as superfluous, egomaniacal prima donna?), I have seen women sing “men” songs. I have also seen men struggle to sing “women” songs (they call them “girl” songs at school). One SM, we sang “We Meet Again As Sisters” (#311). Service and charity were the featured topics and our RS president was among the speakers. The organist played through the entire hymn before we sang to familiarize the congregation with the unfamiliar melody. I was honestly shocked to see that a large portion of the men in the congregation didn’t even attempt to sing. One offended brother told me to, “save the ‘sister’ songs for Relief Society.” He thought that since the song wasn’t really directed to him, as a man, it wasn’t important for him to sing it.

    Antisthenes: Oddly enough, both hymn-texts have similar meters…you _could_ sing the text of one to the melody of the other (you’d have to leave out the “O Babylon” part). Please *don’t* have your chorister try that for this Sunday’s congregational hymn…..just imagine the mayhem and mass hysteria!

  6. Jean Jacobs on September 1, 2004 at 12:51 am

    This topic reminds me of a verse that I came up with based on “As Sisters in Zion”.

    As brothers in Zion
    You carry the priesthood.
    Give service and blessings
    As Jesus would do.
    As sisters in Zion,
    We labor beside you.
    We honor your priesthood,
    And we love you, too.

    It’s still a verse to be sung by women. Hey, maybe a sisters’ choir can sing it in combined Relief Society/Priesthood meeting. It could make the brethern feel included.

    Jean Jacobs

  7. D. Fletcher on September 1, 2004 at 12:58 am

    Jean Jacobs, are you THE Jean Jacobs?

    I took Interpreting Poetry from you.