Sermons, Tracts and Hymns

"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)

Pastoral Letter

Written by the Archibishops and Bishops of Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa, this pastoral letter was issued in the fall of 1914. The letter aimed to solicit contributions from parishioners to the war effort; half of each contribution would go to the national Patriotic Fund and the other half would be directed to assisting local families who would be reduced to poverty during the impending winter, whether due to the wartime or other circumstances.

Reconsecration Pledge 1941

Dated September 1941, this leaflet was probably intended to be given to church-goers as a pledge of their commitment to the war effort.

Patriotic Hymn

Sung to the tune of ‘God Save the King,’ this hymn was written by Isaac Tovell, a Methodist clergyman in Walkerville, Ontario, in 1917.