Memorial Items in the Church - their stories
For St. Anne’s 170th anniversary, the Chancel Guild has decided to research and talk about the many items in our church that have been given in memory of a loved one.
If you think we may miss something donated in memory of one of your loved ones, please get in touch with me. Also, if we miss talking about your family’s memorial gift, please accept our sincerest apologies. Nancy T.
- Processional cross and pews
- Paschal candle and the white chasuble
- Communion kneelers at the Altar Rail - April 30
Processional cross and pews
A bit of history, as described by Grace Bainard in her booklet, The Story of St. Anne’s 1853- 1978.
St. Anne’s Church was originally founded in 1853 to serve the rural and pioneer families in the area of Hall’s Mills (now known as Byron). The unique cobblestone church was completed by English stonemason, Robert Flint in 1855 and even today small cobblestone cottages can be found in Byron and Kilworth built in this era by the same stonemason.
In 1863, Henry Hall, M.D., who died in Peru, left $200.00 to pay for necessary repairs to the church. The renovated church was officially named St. Anne’s and consecrated by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth on January 27, 1878. Since that time, extensions and renovations have taken place but the original building still stands firm and true – a fine testament to our pioneer forefathers.
I’m going to talk about a couple of items today – the Processional Cross and some of the pews that were given To the Glory of God and in memory of specific people.
The Processional Cross, which is carried in to start each service and is brought down to the congregation for the reading of the gospel and then carried out to end each service was given in Memory of Wilson S. McKillop in 1853. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to learn anything else about Mr. McKillop or the person who made the memorial donation. But the Processional Cross is as old as the church – 170 years old.
A number of pews were given in memory of loved ones also. The Wickerson family have donated a pew in loving memory of their parents, Harry and Caroline Wickerson. The name of Franklin Kains is engraved on the pew in which location he worshiped for 80 years. Another pew was given in loving memory of a young man who was very active in the life of the church, Charles Grove, who passed away at the age of 20. His mother, Minnie L Grove, was remembered by the Anglican Women’s Guild with a pew inscribed with her name.
The names of Colville and Kenny – landowners of many acres which supported perhaps a hundred families are perpetuated by a memorial pew.
This is just a small example of the items the Chancel Guild will talk about over the balance of the year. We are very grateful to those who have honoured their loved ones in a way that helps us all to worship in beautiful surroundings.
Paschal candle and the white chasuble
Easter Sunday - April 9, 2023 - Sophie S.
It is my honour to represent the Chancel Guild this Easter Sunday morning and share with you some of the history and traditions behind two memorial gifts that are particularly symbolic for Christians at Easter. They are the paschal candle and the white chasuble. The paschal candle was donated in memory of my mother Leonida Adamtau (May 20, 1924 - July 25, 2017). She was known to many of you as Ema, the word for mother in Estonian. The white chasuble was donated in memory of my father Elmar Sumberg (April 9, 1913 - December 24, 1997).
I will begin with my Ema’s unwavering faith in God’s will and his power to light our way in ways that we are unaware. Towards the end of World War II, with the Soviet troops once again occupying Estonia, Ema set off by foot, with a suitcase in hand, for the railroad station to join relatives in Germany but when she arrived the rail lines had been cut. Not knowing what else to do she started the long walk back to her parent’s farm in the south of Estonia. Along the way she met a man with a horse who offered to help her escape. Together they would traverse over 200 kilometres to the Baltic coast from where they were smuggled onto a small boat and they started their voyage to freedom…and yes it was a dark and stormy night and as fate would have it, the motor on their boat failed. My mother did the only thing she could, which was pray. They were fortunate enough to have a slightly larger boat find them and tow them, but the rope used for towing kept breaking and the threat of them being left adrift in the Baltic Sea was real. Ema prayed some more. By dawn they managed to land on the coast of Finland. There they hid in the forest for days until they were transferred by another boat to a temporary displaced persons camp in Sweden. They found work, got married and settled into Swedish life but they still felt restless. In November of 1949 they boarded the Canadian Empress and emigrated to Canada to start over one more time in Toronto.
So, From Darkness to Light: Everything You Need to Know about the Paschal Candle
“May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.”
Each year at Easter vigils, these words pierce the darkness as Christians gather around the lighting of a very large pillar candle. This candle is the paschal candle, sometimes known as the Easter candle. It is a very rich and sacred symbol of our enduring faith. It should not be confused with the Christ candle that is found in the centre of an Advent wreath. The paschal candle should be of substantial size, even huge, if its importance as a symbol is clearly that Christ is the Light of the world.
Fire has long been a sign of God’s presence. Early Christians viewed the kindling of new fire as a symbol of the presence of their resurrected Lord, the new pillar of fire.
The beeswax represents the purity of Christ, the candle’s wick signifies Christ’s humanity, and the halo of the flame His Divine Nature. Unlighted, it represented Christ’s death and burial; lighted, it represented the splendour and glory of Christ’s resurrection. Other candles lighted from the paschal candle symbolized Christ giving the Holy Spirit to the disciples. It is adorned with one or more Christian symbols, often the cross to represent His redemptive sacrifice and the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet—Alpha and Omega—to signify that He is the beginning and the end.
Throughout the fifty days of Easter, the paschal candle traditionally stands near the altar as a symbol of the resurrection. After the Day of Pentecost, the paschal candle is placed on its stand near the baptismal font as a visual reminder that in our baptism, we are crucified and resurrected with Christ.
The paschal candle is always lit for baptisms, signifying the Holy Spirit and fire that John the Baptist promised to those baptized in Christ. From this flame, a member of the congregation lights another candle, which is given to the newly baptized along with these words, “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Just as the paschal candle is lit at the beginning of life, so too it is lit at the end of life. Its presence at the head of a casket or beside an urn reminds us again that Christ triumphed over darkness and death and that even in death, there is brilliant life.
When you see the paschal candle in church, think of its long and sacred past, the death and resurrection of Our Lord which it represents, and the faith, hope and eternal life it means for all of us!
Let us now shift our focus to liturgical vestments and specifically the white chasuble that our Rector Val will be donning for the celebration of the Eucharist this morning. Little did I know when I volunteered to attend my first synod that it was not only an opportunity to learn but also an opportunity to shop. So there I was during a break browsing through books and more books when a rack of clothing caught my eye. As I skimmed the hangers I was attracted to a silvery white item. I am not really sure why, but I took it off the rack to take a closer look and to my amazement there were three lilies on it embroidered in blue. I took it as a sign that it was meant for St. Anne’s. Ema would say if was God’s will.
The chasuble is the ornate outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist. The chasuble is worn over the alb and stole and is normally of the liturgical colour of the Eucharist being celebrated. The chasuble is described in prayer as the "yoke of Christ" and said to represent charity.
The chasuble when it originated was a roughly oval piece of cloth, with a round hole in the middle through which to pass the head, that fell below the knees on all sides. You could think of it as a poncho. Nearly all ecclesiologists agree that this was simply an adaptation of the secular attire commonly worn throughout the Roman Empire in the early Christian centuries.
In its liturgical use the garment was folded up from the sides to leave the hands free. Strings were sometimes used to assist in this task, and the deacon could help the priest in folding up the sides of the vestment. Beginning in the 13th century, there was a tendency to shorten the sides a little. In the course of the 15th and 16th centuries, the chasuble took something like its modern form, in which the sides of the vestment no longer reach to the ankle but only, at most, to the wrist, making folding unnecessary.
The colours white along with silver and gold are used to symbolize joy, purity, holiness, glory and virtue, as well as respect and reverence. In the liturgical calendar white represents days and seasons of joy and marks the pivotal events in the life of Christ. They are used for all high Holy Days and festival days of the church year. The colour white is used for the seven weeks of Easter, for Christmas Eve through Epiphany, and the four transitional Sundays of Ordinary Time: Baptism of the Lord, Transfiguration of our Lord, Trinity Sunday, and Christ the King Sunday. White is also used for weddings and generally used for funerals.
My father’s life story is tied to the high Holy Days. He died very unexpectedly on Christmas Eve in 1997. His birthday, April 9th, always seemed to float around Holy Week. Before I was born his birthday fell on Easter Sunday on three occasions, 1939, 1944 his last birthday in Estonia and 1950 his first birthday in Canada. We speak of the circle of life and how sometimes everything seems to just to evolve and make sense. When I first spotted the chasuble little did I know I would be standing before you today on my Dad’s 110th birthday, the first time it has coincided with Easter in my lifetime.
Happy birthday Dad!
Communion kneelers at the Altar Rail - April 30
Mrs. Flora Harris passed away recently and this seemed to be a good time to talk a little bit about the Communion kneelers at the Altar Rail.
Flora Harris was responsible for the design of the kneelers, assisted by Daphne Southurst and Marge Granziol. The work began in the Spring of 1981 and the completed kneelers were dedicated at Easter, 1983 – 40 years ago. Seven cushions were required, with the colours to blend with the stained glass windows and with the traditional prayer kneelers already in use.
They were given in memory of GERTRUDE McKILLOP, DAVID SULLIVAN, KENNETH SMITH, FLORENCE CAROL, DAVIS McEWEN, BARBARA SPRUCE, EUPHEMIA McCALLUM, and JAMES CALLISTER .
The design, with the lily, the flower of St. Anne was approved by the minister at the time, Morley Pinkney.
An invaluable twelve weeks of instruction was given by an expert canvas work teacher, Mary Bailey of Lambeth and each stitcher made a practice piece (shown at right) that was handed in before work began.
The stitchers were Prue Bonham, Beryl Fletcher, Marie Lovell, Marjorie Martin, Elsie Shepherd, Mollie Gregson and Nora Smith plus Alice Pearce, Dorothy Soper, Nelson and Kae Ellis, Pat Moore, Deidre Rendall, Barb Thomas, Lesley Harding and the Sunday School.
Fran C. told me that only three or four of these people are still living. Fran talked with Deirdre Rendall who now lives on Vancouver Island and remembers all about making the cushions and sent a picture of her practice piece.
When you come up to take Communion, please take a moment to admire the hard work of so many people.
Ormond and Meriam donations - May 28
Nancy – I’m sure most of you know Barb Kightley who’s a long-time member of St. Anne’s, in fact she was baptized here on June 4, 1933. Her parents were Fred and Tib Meriam and her grandparents were Wesley and Annie Bella Ormand. Annie Bella was the sister of Anne Keam’s father, Truman Ormand. Barb was also a valued member of the Chancel Guild for many years.
In 1937, the beautiful carved oak pulpit was given by the Meriam family in memory of my grandparents, Wesley Meriam and his wife Annie Bella (Ormand). Wesley was a former church warden, Sunday School Superintendent, and Justice of the Peace. They came to Byron in 1872. They farmed from the now Cadeau Terrace up to and including the McCormick Home.
Also in 1937, the Rector’s chair, where Canon Val sits was given in memory of Walter Ormand. The prayer desk in front, was in memory of Meridith Ormand by Alice and her daughter Anne. Meridith was Anne’s Grandfather and Barb’s great-grandfather.
Also, the Chair where Canon Ken sits was given in memory of Walter Ormand and the prayer desk in front of it was given in 1937 in memory of my Uncle Truman Wallace Meriam, all by his wife Alice and daughter Anne. They came to settle in 1852 kitty-corner to the McCormick Home.
In 1972, a Silver Chalice was given in memory of my grandmother, Annie Bella Meriam.
Also, in 1972, a Silver Ciborium in memory of my Aunt, Edith Maude Meriam.
In 1993 – the Altar Book of the Book of Common Prayer was given in memory of my Aunt, Katie Victoria Meriam.
When Katie Meriam died she left in her will a memorial to St. Anne’s to be guided by Reverend Morley Pinkney in memory of my Uncle, Truman Wallace Meriam. Six small chairs were purchased as this memorial given by Katie Meriam. Truman Merium owned what’s now known as Warbler Woods.
My parents, Tib and Fred, donated two pews to St. Anne’s when the church was extended in 1939, but they didn’t provide a plaque.
Milton Keam, Anne’s husband had the Font restored and moved and given in memory of his brother, Capt. Stanley A Keam, who was killed in Italy in 1944.
I also want to mention, the lamp on the Lectern which was given by my friend, Dorothy Ledgley, in memory of her husband, Lauren Truman Ledgley. This lamp was originally given to the Christ church in Delaware but was rededicated for us at St. Anne’s when the church in Delaware closed.