Worshipping

Introductory Essay

Between 1939 and 1945, Canada was engaged in a total war. Across all sectors of society, people mobilized. Many men, and women too, enlisted to fight overseas. Those... Read Full Essay »

VE Day in Edmonton

The Alberta capital celebrated victory in the war against Nazi Germany with a public service of thanksgiving in May 1945.

"Tonight is the Canada night"

The Canadian 1st Division had its baptism of fire at the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915, and its stout defense against the German gas attacks drew praise throughout the Allied world, including in a special memorial service in St Paul's Cathedral, with a sermon delivered by Arthur Winnington-Ingram, the Bishop of London.

View PDF: Life for Ever.pdf

D-Day ... ten years after

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, veterans in Gravenhurst, Ontario, organized a church service to mark the occasion.

Giving thanks for peace

Across the Allied world in May 1945, communities like Chesley, Ontario, gathered to give thanks for the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Prayers for soldiers, sailors and airmen

Endorsed by the Archbishop of Quebec, this prayer book was published by the Knights of Columbus within a few months of the beginning of the Second World War.

Rebuilding after the Halifax Explosion

The Grove Presbyterian Church and the Kaye Street Methodist Church were destroyed in the Halifax Explosion of December 1917; after the war, parishioners united to build one church to serve both congregations.

View PDF: Common Sorrow.pdf

Sunday School and Mother's Day

This donation card, directed at Ontario children, conflated Mother's Day, religion, and the need to defeat Nazi Germany

Order of Divine Service for the Canadian Army

The order of service used by the Canadian Army on all occasions except regular church service.

Women of the Anglican Missionary Society

Like virtually every organization in Canada, the Woman's Auxiliary added war work to its charitable activities during the Second World War, and reported on its initiatives in this monthly magazine.

Hymns for soldiers

Soldiers were fond of altering the lyrics to hymns for comic effect - so, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" became "When This Lousy War is Over."

View PDF: Sacred Songs.pdf

The YMCA at Witley

This ecumenical service, held at a large CEF training camp in the south of England, featured Rev. A. Logan Geggie of Parkdale Presbyterian Church in Toronto.

Awaiting the end of the war

Even before the Second World War ended, the Canadian Council of Churches had prepared an order of service that could be used to celebrate the occasion, whenever it came.

"Yours in Christian service"

Religion was extremely important in First World War Canada, and most families would have been delighted to receive a letter like this, indicating that Gunner Percy D. Wilson of Toronto had attended a church service convened by the YMCA and wanted "to become a more loyal follower of Christ."

Raising funds for Sunday School

The Sunday School Fund of the Methodist Church in Canada relied on the annual Rally Day service as its only source of funds. The program for 1916 referred to the difficulty of raising money for traditional causes when there was so much pressure to donate to the war effort.

"In Memory of Those Sons of the Empire"

Veterans in Morden, Manitoba, organized an annual service "In Memory of Those Sons of the Empire Who Gave Their Lives for Their King and Country in Great War and Other Campaigns."

Decoration Day in Manitoba

The Decoration Day service in Manitou, Manitoba, had been started by the local branch of the Great War Veterans Association, and was carried on by its successor, the Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League.

The fallen of Ypres

This memorial service was held to honour the men of the 1st Brigade who were killed in Canada's first major battle of the Great War. In the coming years, the number of casualties would make it impossible to hold such formal services after every battle.

View PDF: Ypres service.pdf

For Catholics in uniform

Published by the Canadian Forces' Chaplain's Aid, this bilingual magazine featured secular as well as religious content: messages from Catholic clerics, news on the work of chaplains in various theatres of operations, a sports column, and, in this issue, an article on the problem of venereal disease.

Address to the Catholic Women's League of Montreal

This booklet contains a speech by Charles Murphy, the Postmaster General of Canada, before the Catholic Women's League of Montreal. The focus of Murphy's speech is the importance of maintaining peace and spreading national goodwill.

The Pope and the War

This pamphlet examines the broader impact of the war since it began in 1914, particularly in the realm of religion. The author explores the meaning of conflict within the context of Catholic teachings. Such pamphlets were commonly distributed by the Catholic Church in Canada throughout the duration of the war.

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