Memorial Services

From the Christian Science Sentinel, June 1, 1907, by

By special invitation of the Rev. Mary Baker G. Eddy, the Memorial service of the E. E. Sturtevant Post, No. 2, G.A.R., together with the allied organizations, Woman’s Relief Corps, Daughters of Veterans, Sons of Veterans, and the Spanish War Veterans, was held yesterday (Sunday) afternoon at 4.30, in First Church of Christ, Scientist. It is said to be the first time in the history of the Church in this country that such an event has occurred.

The Post, the Sons of Veterans, and the Spanish War Veterans assembled at Grand Army Hall and marched in a body to the church. National tunes were played on the beautiful chimes of the church for half an hour preceding the service. As the Post was marching from headquarters, “Onward, Christian Soldiers” was played, and was continued on the organ as they went to their seats. The subject of the Lesson-Sermon was in harmony with the occasion, being, “Christian Warfare.”

The First Reader, Prof. Hermann S. Hering, gave the following able address: —

The purpose of Memorial Day — a yearly reminder of this great moral struggle and of the faithful ones who sacrificed themselves on its behalf — a noble one, for it tends to emphasize the issue that was involved, educates the world to perceive its import, and gives opportunity for an expression of our deepest feelings, brotherly love, gratitude, and respect.

Mrs. Eddy, well known to us all as a most patriotic citizen, not only of this Commonwealth and city, but of our Nation, in many ways and for many years has shown her interest in this day and her sympathy with its purpose.

It is most fitting, also, that a Memorial service is held at which the veterans and their friends may congregate for divine worship and lift up their thoughts to the infinite Father, the giver of all good, thanking Him for all His benefits and praying for more of that divine Life which makes them and all of us better soldiers of Christ. Gratitude to God for even a little good perceived is an acknowledgment, though feeble, of Him as the source of all being, and opens the heart to a great influx of that good.

The great struggle of which you beloved veterans are victorious survivors, and of which we all are the beneficiaries, was a struggle for principle and not for personality. The issue was the question of human freedom or human slavery. This country has been the arena of many struggles for liberty, both political and religious, and seemed early destined to become the land of the free. It offered a home to the politically oppressed, and also to the Puritans, Quakers, and Pilgrims from other lands, who desired to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. On its sacred soil were fought the two great issues, — the Revolution, which resulted in national independence, and the Civil War, which preserved our integrity as a Nation and committed us to the cause of universal freedom. The tendency of the Government of our land has steadily been towards greater freedom, and under God’s guidance and protection it will so progress.

Allow me now to turn your attention to the Lesson-Sermon, which tells us of still another conflict, the Christian warfare, in which we all have enlisted under the captain of our salvation, our great peacemaker, Christ Jesus. Mrs. Eddy has translated his orders to us in unmistakable language, showing us how to fight the good fight of faith, how to overcome our adversary, the evil one, how to gain the victory, how to establish peace.

At the conclusion of the impressive service, while the large congregation remained standing, the Post and affiliated organizations marched out, after visiting Mrs. Eddy’s room in the church.

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