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Sacrament Meeting Hymns

Latter-day Saint sacrament hymns

Choosing music for sacrament meetings is an interesting responsibility sometimes. One of a few different challenges is that there are only 27 hymns specifically selected as sacrament meeting hymns, so there is a lot of potential for repetition.

As Kaimi Wenger explained the dilemma:

Two of the … Sacrament hymns are duplicate texts with different music. And others (such as 178, O Lord of Hosts, or 189, O Thou Before the World Began) are rarely sung. That leaves an awful lot of weeks each year for I Stand All Amazed, There is a Green Hill, and Jesus, Once of Humble Birth.  With so much repetition, there is a risk that Sacrament becomes auto-pilot.  Part of the music director’s job is arranging hymns to help the congregation reflect on the meeting.

Are there other options for Sacrament hymns?

The hymn book states that, “the Sacrament hymn should refer to the sacrament itself or to the sacrifice of the Savior.” In addition, Sacrament hymns are traditionally solemn and reverent. Are there other hymns that fit the bill?

While there’s some benefit to frequent repetition and the official sacrament hymns should always take precedence, it’s still a good question. The statement that: “The sacrament hymn should refer to the sacrament itself or to the sacrifice of the Savior.” is repeated in both the hymnbook itself and in the General Handbook, so that seems like the best starting point from which to work.

With that in mind, I went through the entire English-language hymnbook and kept an eye out for hymns that specifically referenced the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or the sacrifice of the Savior. Along the way, I also noted that there were a few hymns that I might call Sacrament-adjacent, which don’t meet the specific requirements outlined but are close enough in theme that they could probably work as passable sacrament hymns. I’ll share a table of each group, then go into more details below.

Table 1. Hymns that seem to meet the guidelines offered in the hymnbook and the General Handbook for Sacrament hymns.

65 Come, All Ye Saints Who Dwell on Earth
67 Glory to God on High
86 How Great Thou Art
111 Rock of Ages
113 Our Savior’s Love
134 I Believe in Christ
135 My Redeemer Lives
136 I Know that My Redeemer Lives
146 Gently Raise the Sacred Strain
155 We Have Partaken of Thy Love
169-196 Sacrament meeting hymns
197 O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown
209 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing


Table 2. Hymns that do not explicitly follow the guidelines for selecting Sacrament hymns, but which could potentially still pass as acceptable options.

6 Redeemer of Israel
57 We’re Not Ashamed to Own Our Lord
90 From All That Dwell Below the Skies
101 Guide Me to Thee
112 Savior, Redeemer of My Soul
115 Come, Ye Disconsolate
118 Ye Simple Souls Who Stray
129 Where Can I Turn for Peace?
131 More Holiness Give Me
141 Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
205 Once in Royal David’s City
220 Lord, I Would Follow Thee
221 Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
234 Jesus, Mighty King in Zion
236 Lord, Accept into Thy Kingdom
242 Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow
258 O Thou Rock of Our Salvation


For the first group (hymns that seem to explicitly match the criteria that they “refer to the sacrament itself or to the sacrifice of the Savior”), here are the more detailed explanations:

As for the second set (the Sacrament-adjacent ones), these are hymns that might pass for sacrament hymns even if they might not focus explicitly on the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus the Christ or on the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, here are the ones I picked out:

Other hymns might be mentioned too. For example, in the earlier post by Kaimi, we read the suggestion that:

A few other, perhaps unorthodox suggestions which might also fit the bill of focusing on the Savior’s sacrifice, and having a reverent tone, include:

#111, Rock of Ages.

#117, Come Unto Jesus.

#100, Nearer, My God, to Thee.

#108, The Lord is my Shepherd.

#308, Love one Another.

While I don’t necessarily feel like we need to be restricted to hymns that are “reverent” in the sense Kaimi intends for the sacrament, they are good suggestions.

In addition to using hymns outside of the normal group for sacrament, it is also very possible to focus on using the hymns that tend to be overlooked within the official sacrament hymn section of the hymnal. For example, a survey that Sam Bradshaw did a few years ago, it was found that hymn 189 (“O Thou, Before the World Began”) was sung least frequently among the hymns in the sacrament section, with 178 (“O Lord of Hosts”), 179 (“Again, Our Dear Redeeming Lord”), and 186 (“Again We Meet around the Board”) also ranking as less common sacrament hymns. It may be worthwhile to consider using hymns like these more frequently as the sacrament hymns. 

In any case, hopefully this is a good resource for considering additional options for sacrament hymns.

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