There is a song I would like to sing during Sacrament in December which is not in our hymnal. Little Drummer Boy. Certain brethren (not of the bishopric) have told me that it is not appropriate. I can understand Jingle Bells or Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, but I grew up with Little Drummer Boy as a valid song to praise Christ’s birth. I converted in my mid-30s so it could just be an errant teaching. Yet something tells me that Jesus would still appreciate it. What do you think?
Musical talent is definitely God-given and can be used to help spread the gospel and worship in many forms. However, our Sacrament meetings need to be conducted in such a way that the Spirit can always be present. Our meetings are more humble and subdued compared to other faith’s worship services.
That said, there are guidelines on instrumental and other kinds of musical performances in Sacrament meeting. No percussion is allowed. (Yes, I know that a piano is percussion instrument, but no drums, cymbals, etc.) No brass instruments either – as these instruments are more for “show” and entertainment than they are for a worship service tone.
The “Little Drummer Boy” may not require an actual drum, but it does hint at it. The message in the lyrics are nice as a little boy showing his love for the baby Jesus. (I doubt there would be an issue if a few primary children sang it?) This seems to be more of a Christmas Carol than a Christmas Hymn.
It’s one of those ‘borderline’ pieces of music. It could be similar to how we, as LDS, think of “Amazing Grace”. It’s a beautiful hymn, but it’s not in our hymn book.
It is still up to your Bishop to determine how appropriate it can be. I would also talk to your ward music chairman to get their approval as well.