Go here for part one.
After my meeting, I go home and make sure everyone else is getting ready. (I should mention that I only live about two blocks from my church building.)
My husband had his name removed from the records of our church about five years ago, so he isn't involved in this process. It's taken some time, but we've come to a mutual respect of each other's choices. Sundays are his day to himself. He spends them sleeping, playing on his computer, watching movies in his room. It's up to him. We don't see him much on Sundays.
When I get home I wake anyone who is still asleep. My kids are old enough that they get themselves ready. Boy, it was a lot tougher when they were young.
I usually use this time to put the finishing touches on my lesson, if I'm teaching that day. Or I lie down for a few minutes. Sundays are a long day for me.
My eighteen-year old daughter gets ready pretty fast and then starts playing the piano. No, we don't make her and haven't even asked her. She just really likes to. She's self taught and is working her way through the hymnbook. It is requested that she keep her music spiritual when playing on Sunday.
My goal is to be out of the house by 12:30, even though we live close and church doesn't start until 1:00. This started a while ago. When my kids were younger we were often late for our meetings. That meant we usually sat in the foyer or in the overflow on hard chairs. I figured out that they were better behaved during the meeting if we were in a pew. By changing my mindset to leaving at 12:30 instead of being there at 1:00 we are always able to get a pew, even when we're running late -- because we're still early. Also, going early means that they have time to switch into church mode, get a drink of water, go to the restroom -- hopefully, so that they won't need to do those things during the meeting. And I get to relax and listen to the prelude music, knowing we are all there and ready. (If one of my kids isn't ready when it's time to leave, he/she walks.)
Since we are so early, we can sit anywhere we want. We always sit in the back row on the right. Habit. My husband liked that spot when he used to come with us and it just kind of stuck.
Our Sunday worship service is three hours long. The first meeting is Sacrament Meeting. This is the most important meeting of the day because we participate in the holy ordinance of the sacrament. The meeting is an hour and ten minutes. It is conducted by a member of the bishopric. (Our bishop is similar to a pastor. He has two counselors. Together, they make up the bishopric. They are responsible for the spiritual and temporal needs of everyone who lives in our ward boundaries.) It is opened and closed with music and prayer. Announcements are given. New callings are presented for a sustaining vote. The sacrament is blessed and passed by the young men who hold the priesthood. The program is presented by various ward members who have been invited to speak by the bishopric on an assigned topic. There is often a musical number presented in between speakers. (On the first Sunday of the month we have testimony meeting. On this day any member of the congregation may go to the pulpit to share his/her testimony.) On the third Sunday, the musical number is usually presented by the ward choir. (That's just in our ward. Each ward decides for itself when the ward choir will sing.)
To answer Linda's questions: We call our weekly Sunday worship church. Everyone is welcome at Sunday worship, member or not. We do have temples. These are buildings where sacred, eternal ordinances occur. Only worthy members may enter the temple. They must have an interview with the bishop and stake president (a stake is a group of wards). They must be following the guidelines of the church like paying tithing, being honest, attending their meetings in order to obtain a temple recommend. They can then attend the temple at a time that is convenient for them. The temple isn't open on Sunday so that all may attend their regular Sunday meetings. It also isn't open Monday afternoon or evenings so that it doesn't interfere with Family Home Evening (a time set aside for spiritual instruction in the home and family time). And the formal name of our faith is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
More to come.
Go here for part three.