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 people unable to enlist fought…

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.

Soldier's Personal Bible

During the First World War, religion and Christianity played quite a significant role in the lives of soldiers. Many soldiers would carry pocket Bibles to keep their faith close to them while they faced the most dangerous challenges of their lives. This specific bible has been inscribed with many of the owner's personal messages.

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.  

Patriotic Service for Sunday Schools

This order of service from June 1919 honoured the soldiers and veterans who fought in the Great War.

Hymns for the CEF

This prayer book issued by the Principal Chaplain’s Office in 1916, for soldiers of the CEF, featured the national anthem O Canada.

ODSH.pdf (18.91 MB)

"Facing the enemy"

This leaflet by the Christian Business Men's Association tells those serving in the Navy, Army, or Air Force that although military service is an honourable undertaking, it should remain clear in their minds that "before exposing themselves to the danger of clashing arms or busting shells," they first "settle the momentous question of eternal destiny" by surrendering to the Christian belief in God. 

On Active Service from St. Andrew's Church

St. Andrew's Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, prepared this prayer pamphlet to commemorate those members of the church who died on active service, or went missing in action. Inside the pamphlet, worshippers also found the names of all fellow church members still serving in the Canadian military or recently retired from service.

"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)

VE Day in Edmonton

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