To Presidents of Stakes and Bishops of Wards ...
Inquiries received at the office of the First Presidency disclose the fact that there is a divergence of opinion and varied practices among ward officers with respect to the kind of music, if any, that should be rendered during the administration of the sacrament.
Recently, this question came before the First Presidency and the Twelve who unanimously approved the recommendation that the ideal condition is to have absolute quiet during the passing of the sacrament, and that we look with disfavor upon vocal solos, duets, group singing, or instrumental music during the administration of this sacred ordinance.
There is no objection to having appropriate music during the preparation of the emblems, but after the prayer is offered, perfect silence should prevail until the bread and the water have been partaken of by the full congregation.
It was further suggested, and unitedly agreed upon, that the sacrament should be first given to the presiding authority in the meeting. This may be the bishop, perhaps one of the stake presidency, or one of the visiting General Authorities. It is the duty of the priest officiating to determine who is the presiding authority present; thus, whenever the sacrament is administered, members of the Aaronic Priesthood officiating will have a lesson in Church government. ...
Sincerely yours, GEO. ALBERT SMITH, J. REUBEN CLARK, JR., DAVID O. MCKAY, First Presidency.
[1946-May 2-Original circular letter, L.D.S., in Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]