Sunday Service


Trent Pheifer

I have heard conflicting reports on Sunday services on the Titanic. I know there were 3 services for each class, but were different classes allowed to go to other classes services, such as a 3rd class person being allowed in 1st class services, can anyone clarify this subject for that you very much.

Hello Trent,

This question has been brought up on this message board before, and it has been hard to deliver a true answer. While many say that the service was allowed for all classes to participate in, I personally think that the service was strictly for first-class passengers. With a service for each class, there would be no need for an all-class service. Plus, it would appear that there would be mention of this by surviving lower-class passengers, as they surely would not forget going up into first for the service.

Hi there,

Brandon, you made a very clear statement and I surely agree with you. I brought this topic up some months ago. What I like to add is that I also do believe that there was no common service on sunday, but a single service for every different class. Survivors mentioned that second class had two different services: one for Anglicans/protestants, and one for the Catholics. After these services in second class, there was a Catholic service in third class.

The only thing I was wondering about is if there was made a difference between the different religious groups in third class with it's several Christian religions and Jewish passengers. Does anybody know something more about that?

I'm decidely skeptical of the mixed class service myself. The problem with the story was that there were strict immigration laws which required that third class/steerage be kept segregated from the other classes for health reasons.

Michael H. Standart
Does anyone know where the Strauses worshiped at? What about Catholics in First Class? Also, what else is known about the service in First Class? How do we know that it was held in the Dining Room? What other hymns were sung besides "For Those In Peril"? How many people confirmed it being sung (i.e. how do we know that it's not just another romantic rumor)? What time was it held at?
PS- I agree that if steerage was in the First Class Dining Room, they would have remembered it, and I doubt that Ismay would have approved of immigrants singing with his wealtiest clients.
Hi David,

"For those in peril" was not sung at the first class service. It was, however, sung at the second class sing-song conducted by Revd. Ernest Carter in the evening. In first class, "God our help in ages past" was remembered by Col. Gracie as one of the hymns sung in first class. Martha Stephenson was surprised that "For those in peril" was not chosen.

Hope this helps,
Does anyone know any other songs that were played at the sing on Sunday evening in the saloon? Also, for the first class Sunday morning service, does anyone know what Scripture passage the Sunday sermon was taken from? What did the solois (if there was one) sing?
Just out of curiosity how many Catholic Masses were celebrated totally on the Titanic-i.e. for all classes. Who were the priests (I know I can probably look it up, but you may have some interesting bio facts), and their Religious Orders/Communities? THANKS!
Hi Barry,

Two Catholic masses were held on April 14th. Fr. Thomas Byles conducted the serive in second class while Asst. Purser Reginald Barker's took charge of the non-Catholics. No doubt Jospeh Peruschitz and Juozas Montvila aided Byles and provivded translations for the non-English speakers. The three would then have conducted a similar service for 3rd class.

Later in the evening, Revd. Ernest Carter held an "evensong" for anyone wishing to attend (about 100 did so, eventually). He was an anglican priest from Whitechapel, London.

Kirkland, Bateman, Lahtinen, and Harper took no active role in religious activity on board Titanic so far as we know. Bateman and Harper were both baptist ministers. Kirkland, although often referred to as a presbyterian, was in fact a free churchman.

Hope this helps,

Any possibility that Second class were allowed to venture into first class for the service and third class were just left to their own devices?
Hi Jemma, given that all the ministers travelled 2nd class, they were in many ways, better catered for in terms of organised worship that 1st class. Hence, it is unlikely that anyone would have ventured into 1st class on Sunday morning.

It has even been suggested that 3rd class non-Catholics were welcomed to join the wealthier passengers for Sunday worship, however, no surviving 1st class passenger who attended the serivce recalled such an incident. And even if this occured on other ships, it must have been an awkward occasion with distainful looks being cast from both sides!

Teach me to stray outside the wireless shack lol
Please, stray at will ;) Remind me to buy you a rasberry vodka in June for providing yours truly with an excuse to waffle.
Vodka? Please explain I am not familiar with such a substance? Waffle away! Can you imagine the look on a first class ladies face if a family of twelve toddled up from third class to join the captain and co for hymn singing lol....
I rather tend to agree that services would have been segregated according to class. However all that went by the board as Father Byles recited the Rosary to over 100 Protestants, Catholics and Jews of all classes in the final minutes. (According to a contemporary eyewitness newspaper account )