The church bell was rung by the sexton or beadle who pulled rhythmically on a large rope hanging just inside the entrance. The ringing of the bell was a call to worship and to this day the sound of church bells still calls me. 4.
The regular organist was Dagmar Rothdram. My sister, Edith, filled in for her a few times. I remember a lovely Saturday afternoon going with Edith to practice for the next day. It was a sunny, warm, day but in the church it was cool. It was such a strange feeling to be the only ones in the building. Our footsteps sounded so loud on the wooden floor and echoed into the emptiness. The sunlight coming through the stained glass windows made coloured patterns on the walls and floors. Yes, I felt an awesomeness and a feeling of reverence swept through me. This was the House of
God and the faith of generations filled the very air.
The church yard had a peaceful look about it. There were several large maple trees giving a quietness to the last resting place of the Anglicans. The headstones in the graveyard are varied in shape and size, from large ones to small white lambs where a
child had been laid to rest. Many inscriptions tell a sad story by the dates and ages written on them. Several young children of the same family had only a few brief years to live. Their stories are written in stone.
There is a very large stone, twin oaks 5. made of concrete commemorating my great-grandfather, his three wives and a daughter, Clara. In my father’s family there are 5 generations 6. buried there including my brother, Reggie (1973), and my sister, Edith (1977) .7
Sunday School was at 9:50 a.m. Miss Kid 8 ran the Sunday School. There was always a last minute flurry to check our stockings were pulled up properly, that gloves were clean (especially the white gloves worn during the summer months), and that hats were on straight.
The small children sat on little wooden chairs placed in a circle at the front of the church. Some of the classes sat in pews with the teacher standing front of them. The older children had classes in the vestry on either side of the altar.
Catechism for the younger children was simplified but the older ones, preparing for confirmation, had a deeper course of study.
If Easter was late enough in spring and the snow was gone on Palm Sunday the Sunday School children had a parade. Each child was given a palm branch and we would march around the church waving our palm branches and then parade back into the church for morning service. We were allowed to keep our palm branches which were usually taken home where they were hung at the back of a picture where they stayed until they were dry and crumbly.
It was not until I was much older that I attended evening services. Sometimes my father came with me.
|5. Interestingly enough there is another like it in the Catholic graveyard
6. actually 6 generations are buried in the churchyard
7. Helen’s mother and father are also buried there.
8.Miss Kidd was a retired school teacher who roomed just up the street from the church. She also ran the Girls’ Guild and the spring concerts
Both Edith and I sang in the choir when we were old enough. The choir room was on the left side of the chancel directly behind the choir stalls. Here we put on our robes, our white collars and mortar board. A check was made to be sure we all wore the tassel on the right side.
Lent always brings back memories of the Wednesday night Lenten Services. This was a chance to get out in the evening . Near the end of Lent it was still daylight before the seven o’clock service began, but for the first weeks it was getting dark when we left for church. There was something different about going up the back path through the neighbour’s yard and the Rondeau’s yard and then to the main road (Metcalfe Street) - a feeling that was not there during the daytime. The air was intoxicating with its fresh smell of spring and seemed to lend magic to ordinary things. The snow melting, the water running down the ruts in the road, the last light of day, all made it feel like an exciting time to be alive.
Once in the church we were brought back to sober thoughts as the story of Christ’s trial, crucifixion and resurrection were told. The visual aids were lantern slides. The pictures were painted on glass squares. The lantern projector had a light bulb in it which shone through the glass slide . A magnifying lens enlarged the picture. There was no way to adjust the size so the projector had to be set up at a precise distance from the screen to get the correct focus. The minister read the story and made a tapping sound for the operator of the slide show to show another picture. A special collection was made to pay for the slides.
When we reached the age of 13 or 14, we went to Confirmation Classes. The minister often held these at the rectory . There we reviewed the catechism we had learned in Sunday School.
The coming of the bishop for the Confirmation Service was a special event and many parents were in attendance. The girls were dressed in white and the boys in white shirts and pants or in suits if they could afford one. Afterwards we were allowed to take communion.
If I remember correctly it was Reverend Addie who was the minister at the time of my confirmation.