Front Matter Why This Story was Written The Leaking Speedwell Searching for a Home After the Storm Wash Day Finding the Corn Attacked by the Savages Building Houses Miles Standish The Sick People The New Home Master White and the Wolf Inside of the House A Chimney Without Bricks Building the Fire Master Bradford's Chimney Scarcity of Food A Timely Gift The First Savage Visitor Squanto's Story Living in the Wilderness The Friendly Indians Grinding the Corn A Visit From Massasoit Massasoit's Promise Massasoit's Visit Returned The Big House Burned The Mayflower Leaves Port Setting the Table What and How we Eat Table Rules A Pilgrim Goes Abroad Making a Dugout Governor Carver's Death Bradford Chosen Governor Farming in Plymouth Cooking Indian Corn The Wedding Making Maple Syrup Decorating the House Trapping Wolves and Pigeons Elder Brewster The Visit to Massasoit Keeping the Sabbath Holy Making Clapboards Cooking Pumpkins A New Oven Making Spoons and Dishes The Fort and Meeting-House The Harvest Festival How to Play Stoolball On Christmas Day When the Fortune Arrived Possibility of Another Famine On Short Allowance A Threatening Message Pine Knots and Candles Tallow From Bushes Wicks for the Candle Dipping the Candles When James Runs Away Evil-Minded Indians Long Hours of Preaching John Alden's Tubs English Visitors Visiting the Neighbors Why More Fish are not Taken How Wampum is Made Ministering to Massasoit The Plot Thwarted The Captain's Indian Ballots of Corn Arrival of the Ann Little James Comes to Port The New Meeting-House The Church Service The Tithingmen Master Winslow Brings Cows A Real Oven Butter and Cheese Settlement at Wessagussett The Village at Merrymount The First School Too Much Smoke Schools Comforts How Children Were Punished New Villages Making Ready for a Journey Clothing for Salem Food for the Journey Before Sailing for Salem Beginning the Journey The Arrival at Salem Sight-Seeking in Salem Back to Plymouth

Mary of Plymouth - James Otis

The Church Service

Captain Standish has taught Master Bean's eldest son, Nathan, how to drum, and he it is who summons our people before nine of the clock in the morning, and one of the clock in the afternoon.

Then we go from our homes in seemly fashion; but all the men carry their firearms and wear swords, for there are wicked Indians about, and many wild beasts which come even into the village, when there is much snow on the ground. Therefore do the fathers and the brothers of Plymouth guard the mothers and sisters.

[Illustration] from Mary of Plymouth by James Otis

It is that part of the meeting house on the right side as you go in, that has been set apart for the women and girls. The men have their benches on the opposite side, while the boys, except the very, very little ones, sit directly under the preacher's desk, where all may know if they behave themselves in seemly fashion. Sarah says it would be much to the comfort of us girls if even the baby boys could be thus set apart by themselves.

Deacon Chadwick leads the congregation in the songs of praise, by reading a line, for we have but four psalm books here, and then we sing such words as he has spoken; so it goes on throughout all the psalm, causing the music to sound halting and unequal. Besides which, it is seldom that the verses can be sung in such a manner within less than half an hour, and meanwhile we must all be kept standing.

When the meeting, is over, and the morning service is nearly always finished within four hours, we remain in our seats until the preacher and his wife have gone out, after which the men march around to the deacon's bench, and there leave furs or corn, money or wampum, if perchance they have any, as gifts toward the support of the preaching. Sometimes, when I have a feeling of faintness from the cold and long hours of sitting, I cannot help envying the preacher and his wife being able to leave thus early.