Church Services on the Lusitania


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Lindsay Hymas

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Hi,
I just had a random question. Were there church services on the Lusitania? If so, does anyone know where they took place?
Thanks,
Lindsay
 

Lindsay Hymas

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Thank you! I'm very interested in finding the answer. (PS~ Sorry I didn't make the title more clear).

Lindsay
 
Jul 12, 2005
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Here's a quote I got after doing a Google search for "Lusitania Sunday Church Service":

Article from MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History

Fateful Voyage of Lusitania

On Sunday, May 2, the first day out, Captain Turner conducted church services in the main lounge.

Hope that answers your question. Robert H. Gibbons
 

Noel F. Jones

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It was customary on all British passenger ships for the master to conduct 'divine service' every Sunday. One of the public rooms would be rigged up for this. I can only ever recall one ship having a dedicated chapel and this was a matter for comment. She was built for the Latin American trade.

If the master was unable to officiate because of navigational exigencies the job would be delegated elsewhere, usually to one of the senior pursers.

I inadvertently forfeited a purser's berth with Cunard when I let slip that I was an 'unbeliever'. The interviewer, Roger Wadeson whom some may know, said that taking divine service was part of the purser's remit and faith was de rigeur.

Since that time I've always been "C of E" on the application form, the lesson being - always conform!

Noel
 

Lindsay Hymas

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Thank you to everyone who has responded. It really is extremely interesting. I really appreciate it. I just wonder now if they would have arranged the chairs differently or not. I remember reading somewhere that the seats were bolted to the floor, and they were unbolted so that they could dance in the lounge. I wonder what they did for church services.

Lindsay
 

Bob Godfrey

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The 2nd Class dining room on the Lusitania was used for Catholic services. The chairs were fixed to the floor, but in such a way that they could be turned so that all faced in the same direction if need be. Later, the Queen Mary was equipped with portable alters which could be used in locations like the lounge and theatre, and in the drawing room, which was used frequently for Catholic services, there was even an alterpiece which could be concealed by sliding screens. The QM also had a small 'scroll room' for Jewish services, which I think was a permanent assignment rather than an occasional usage.
.
 

Mike Poirier

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Hi Lindsay
Apparently the Welsh Choir sang during the service on the Lusitania and it was presided over by Rev Henry Wood Simpson.
Mike
 

Noel F. Jones

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"I remember reading somewhere that the seats were bolted to the floor, and they were unbolted so that they could dance in the lounge. I wonder what they did for church services."

In the public rooms tables were arranged in set positions according to the General Arrangement Plan and were secured to the deck against heavy weather. The accompanying chairs would normally be secured by means of a bottle-screw or turnbuckle device which allowed for limited movement in situ.

This furniture could be unshipped and re-arranged for church services and entertainment functions if sea conditions allowed, even then provided that rows of seats were safely chocked off by the occasional securing at intervals.

Carpets over dance floors were secured against drifting by decorative pan-headed brass bolts placed at strategic intervals.

Noel
 

Lindsay Hymas

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That is so interesting. Thank you so much. I love to learn about this, and it amazes me how much everyone on this board knows!

Lindsay
 
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