Sermons, Tracts and Hymns

Prayers and Hymns for Parade Services

The Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Congregational Churches of Toronto published this book of prayers and hymns to be used in parade services across Canada. Christianity had a very powerful role in Canadian society during the First World War, which meant that most memorial services were heavily religiously influenced.

Hymns for Canadian Forces by the YMCA

Spirituality offered members of the Canadian Forces a source of relief and hope to face the challenges of active service. This book of hymns published by the Canadian YMCA included an order of service, and scripture readings chosen specifically for service personnel.

YMCA Hymns.pdf (38.31 MB)

Fight the Good Fight

The Church of England in Canada compiled this devotional book with instructions for men and women in the armed forces. The book included Bible readings, hymns, prayers, and instructions on every-day life according to Christian duties.  

"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.

Life for Ever.pdf (25.72 MB)

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.

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."

Sacred Songs.pdf (20.22 MB)

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.

"Action Catholique" and the War

Olivar Asselin, an associate of Henri Bourassa, details his opposition to Canada's participation in the war in this pamphlet.

A Chaplain's Christmas message

Montreal clergyman Allan Shatford enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1915 and eventually ministered to Canadian soldiers overseas. He usually prepared a special Christmas message to the troops and distributed it in booklet form.

Words of wisdom for soldiers

This collection of prayers, poems, thoughts, and messages (by people such as Winston Churchill, Robbie Burns, Walter Lippmann, and John Oxenham) was produced by the YMCA to be distributed to Canadians overseas and in uniform.

Everyman.pdf (1.74 MB)