Holding Church services at home is something new to us. But since we are under community quarantine, we have been directed to do so. Since the COVID-19 scare, it was somehow expected that we would hold religious meetings at home, but home sacrament meeting is different from the usual “Come Follow Me” sessions our family holds. So today is like breaking new ground. There were bloopers and challenges. Things did not go the way we wanted them to but it was, all in all, a great spiritual experience.

The Challenges

My husband prepared the bread and water the night before. He placed two slices of bread on a plate and readied the mugs (yes mugs!) for the water. He covered them so it will be ready early in the morning. When he woke up one of our daughters have spread hazelnut on the bread and made a sandwich out of it. It turned out that we did not have extra bread since the kids ate the rest of the loaf. So we made do with “yummy” bread because we used the sandwich which was the only bread we had in the house. The mugs were replaced by glasses since my husband didn’t know where they are stored, so he used what he could easily see in the kitchen and those were mugs.

Another issue we needed to address was how to help the kids feel more reverent, and not as at home. It was quite a challenge because they didn’t feel it was as solemn when we were just sitting on our couch holding Sacrament Meeting.

The Sacrament

It was a bit strange watching as my husband make all the preparations being the only Priesthood holder in the home. We have 5 daughters and none of us could help in the preparation. It was an eye opener for us because we usually look past the preparation part of the Sacrament. We just see the sacrament table all set when we sit in the pews during sacrament meeting. It was such a humbling experience being able to see how gently my husband selected white sheets to line and cover the sacrament emblems. We were filled with reverence as we saw how the seemingly mundane task of breaking bread became holy and sacred. Seeing it so close opened our eyes to the sanctity of the things we usually see as routine.

The Closing Hymn

For our closing hymn, we sang “Keep the Commandments.” It was a hymn my daughter selected because it is one of the few hymns she can play on the piano. I tried my hardest to hold back tears as my heart swelled with a testimony of the truth that the hymn teaches. When the COVID-19 pandemic first began to spread fear in the hearts of people worldwide, our daughters were also alarmed as information on the phenomenon reach them. We have tried our best to comfort them and keep them in their bubble of normalcy. But we cannot seem to do that because these kids are so informed. When we sang,

“Keep the commandments; keep the commandments!

In this there is safety; in this there is peace.

He will send blessings;

He will send blessings.

Words of a prophet:

Keep the commandments.

In this there is safety and peace.”

It was like the Holy Ghost enveloped me with the assurance that my children will be fine. The world will not always be an ideal place for them, but they will be taught the ideal principles that will mold them to be resilient and constant. My husband and I expressed our gratitude for the blessing of having a living prophet, and our children understood that if we listen to the words of the prophet, there is always safety and peace.

The Reminder

When we asked the girls what they thought of the special Sacrament Meeting we had, my daughter said, “I gained confidence because even when I make mistakes in playing the piano, it’s ok because I’m with my family.” Our sense of family was strengthened by this beautiful experience. And our hearts were one with people all over the world who worshiped with us that morning as we prayed for the healing of our nations. There was a spirit of being one big congregation under one God despite holding Sacrament services at home in family units or even as individuals. As I searched the hymn “Keep the Commandments,” on lds.org I was humbled by what a seemingly hidden second verse revealed:

“We are His children; we are His children,

and we must be tested to show we are true.

Hold to His promises;

Hold to His promises,

Heeding the prophets:

Keep the commandments.

In this there is safety and peace.”

In these trying times when we can’t do all the usual day-to-day things because we can’t go out, we can find safety and peace in the four corners of our homes. When we have our faith and our family with us, there is a sense of security that comforts and strengthens. Once again, we are reminded of what matters most.