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Mayflower, Day by Day - Sunday, 12 September 1621

12 Sep 2021 3:49 AM | Soule (Administrator)

Kept the Sabbath.  Note that church attendance was not mandated by law until 1650 in the colony of New Plymouth, but keeping the Sabbath by refraining from work and attendance at the two worship services was probably almost universal in this early period.  The group had, after all, left England and undergone hardship for this very purpose, so it is likely that attendance did not need to be “enforced.”  The scriptures were the basis for worship, as for much else, and in the absence of any other written laws or regulations, the sacred writings also served as a legal code.  The Pilgrims not only rejected the celebration of Easter, Christmas, and Saints’ Days, but also hymns, the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and creeds. Psalms were the only music allowed in service.  Sabbath services were held twice on Sunday, from 9am to noon and from 2pm to 5pm, and sermons were often given on Thursdays and when Days of Thanksgiving or Days of Fasting and Humiliation were proclaimed.

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