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Christmas in the Sunday Schools, 1943

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 14, 2009

The General Board’s “Christmas Program Committee” (Inez Witbeck, Nellie Kuhn, and Margaret Ipson) suggested the following program reflecting the prayer of “Peace on Earth” during the dark days of war.

Christmas Program

Suggested for Sunday Schools

I. Appropriate Opening Exercises.

II. Explanation of the theme by the superintendent.

Theme

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace.” Isaiah 52:7

1. Reader

MARY’S PRAYER SONG
By Fay Cram

Oh! Mary prayed that lovely night,
That night of pain and song and triumph
That peaceful eve of stars and shepherds,
Of wise-men, magi token-laden,
Whose each step, star-led brought them nearer.

What prayed she for – but peace and beauty
To attend this life of her life?
Knew she then the trials and sorrows
Waiting ’round at each year’s turning?
Could she dream the pain and anguish
Which each drop he shed would bring her?

Perhaps – and yet her throbbing prayer song
Oh, how lovely to the ear;
“Oh, his Father, love him ever,
Humbly born, let humbly live!
Oh Angels, chant His peace song sweeter
Life will need Him, few will love Him.
And when peace seems gone, and sorrow
Burning, tearing takes Him from me.
God, I pray thee, make me thankful
’Twas my lot to bear the Savior.

2. Chorus (Junior Sunday School),singing – “To the Land of Judea” (Little Stories in Song); “Once Within a Lowly Stable” (Song Stories); “Christmas Cradle Song” (Deseret Sunday School Songs).

3. Choral Reading – by Advanced Juniors – Luke 2:8-17 – “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, etc.”

Congregational Song – “With Wondering Awe” (Deseret Sunday School Songs).

4. Retold Story – by First Intermediate – “The Boy of Nazareth” (Jesus the Christ, Talmage, p. 218).

5. “Medley of Christmas Carols,” instrumental selection.

6. Reader

Jesus is our Master, our Teacher, our Friend. He has restored His gospel to us with all its blessings and privileges. Him will we follow, and his commandments will we keep; for it was he Himself who said, “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.”

7. Vocal Solo – appropriate to the theme.

8. Teacher – “And He opened his mouth and taught them, saying …” (the Beatitudes – Matthew 5:2-10 – concluding with “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”)

9. Five minute talk – Suggested theme: At this Christmastide may we again take to heart the lessons taught by our Savior, with the realization that in this war-darkened world this is the only true way to everlasting peace.

10. To the soft strains of “America” played upon the organ, a serviceman in uniform carries a flag from the rear of the chapel to the stand. (Note: Sunday Schools in other countries may use one of their own national songs and flag.)

11. Reader – Reads last stanza of “America” (“Our fathers’ God,” etc.), to the organ accompaniment of the melody.

12. Congregation sings last stanza of “America.”

Benediction.

Note: It is recommended that the true spirit of Christmas be preserved in our Sunday School Program. Since Christmas Day is the anniversary of the birth of Christ upon this earth and is celebrated by us in appreciation of God’s great gift to us, our Savior, let us stress the great lesson of giving because of love, such as God gave His only Son, and leave Santa Claus to the home and day school. The introduction of Santa Claus into the Sunday School brings with it a carnival spirit which is far from the sacred spirit that our yule season should carry.



3 Comments »

  1. [L]eave Santa Claus to the home and day school. The introduction of Santa Claus into the Sunday School brings with it a carnival spirit which is far from the sacred spirit that our yule season should carry.

    Huh? The Sunday School General Board felt the need to remind folks to keep Santa Claus out of a Sunday School service? Is this “Sunday School” as in a Sunday service, where they used to administer the sacrament? Holy cow! If they felt like they needed to say it, it’s probably because it had happened, or was happening.

    And to think that Santa Claus doesn’t even visit our Friday night Ward Christmas Party anymore because of concerns that it’s too frivolous and light-hearted! In order for that to make any sense, I suppose you have to define the word “party” as “another church service, but with food.”

    Comment by Hunter — December 14, 2009 @ 10:43 am

  2. That’s what strikes me about a lot of the “answers to questions” I’m finding from the 40s-50s-60s, Hunter — if somebody had to ask, and somebody had to make a ruling, it means that THAT (whatever strange thing “that” might be) was occurring. Odd.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 14, 2009 @ 10:59 am

  3. Since there was no communication from Church headquarters to the German saints at that time, I suppose nobody wrote in to ask which verse of their national anthem might be appropriate (I’d have recommended the one beginning “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit”) or whether “Die Wacht am Rhein” or the “Horst Wessel Lied” might be chosen as the “national song” to be played during the Sunday School program.

    I think I’d add such displays to Santa Claus–let them be celebrated at home or at school.

    Comment by Mark B. — December 14, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

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