Today I was asked to give the closing prayer at church– my first opportunity since coming to the Congo…
This was a new church for us today–the Bongonga Branch– the mission home group tries to attend services among all the various wards and branches in the area.
All churches I have attended have Priesthood then Sunday School, and have sacrament last. This is just before the start of Priesthood meeting.
Just before sacrament meeting I was asked to say the closing prayer “le prier pour sainte-cène” (Lord’s Supper). At first I thought I was being asked to say one of the sacrament prayers, but then he showed me the agenda for the meeting and I finally understood.
I was ‘required’ to go up and sit in front, with Pres McMullin who was speaking, even though I was giving the closing prayer.
They had quite a few speakers: three youth speakers, an adult speaker, and finally, Pres. McMullin. Everyone stood for the closing song, and then I got up to say the closing prayer. I got to the podium, bowed my head, and began: “Notre Père Céleste…”
All of a sudden I felt a hand on my shoulder… it seems as though the meeting wasn’t over yet! The song was the intermediate hymn, and the Bishop was speaking next… oops!
After the Bishop was done, and another song was sung, I got up again, and said the closing prayer in French…
Well, I will say this: it was memorable!
Turned out that one of the men I work with in the construction office was a counselor in the Bishopric here. He has six children, and a beautiful wife.