Canada Day – July 1st 2012

Canadian Maple Leaf Flag

Today Canada is celebrating its 145th birthday.  It being Sunday means that tomorrow will be a public holiday.  Across the country ceremonies, festivities, parties, parades and other celebrations have been taking place.

At Sevenoaks Alliance Church, Abbotsford, BC to which we belong, we had a wonderful service that began with the singing of the Canadian National Anthem.  Led by the instrumentalists and singers of the worship team who were joined by the playing of the church organ, it was a stirring and emotional event that brought tears to many eyes, including Grace’s and mine.  The service also included the baptism of two young adults who recently became believers, a great sermon by lead pastor Errol Rempel and concluded with Holy Communion.  The service was followed by a barbeque in the church car park.

Grace and I think that Canada has one of the best national anthems in the world.  The music was written by Calixa Lavallée in 1880 and the present lyrics are a slightly modified version of the first stanza of a patriotic poem that was written in 1908 by Stanley Weir.  Here are the words of the full poem, with the modified first stanza.  This morning in our service we sang the first and last stanzas.

“O Canada! our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea,
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western Sea,
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”

Ruler supreme, who hears our humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”

Now I hope you will like to listen to our national anthem.  Here is a link:

When your national day comes, we hope you enjoy it as much as we are enjoying ours.

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About mgouldth

Retired pastor and schoolteacher.
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