Special Worship Services
During the year we celebrate several special worship services in which the Latvian community thanks God for His acts of grace and mercy in the history of the Latvian people and our community here in Toronto.
On the first Sunday of March, the Latvian community remembers Major Oskars Kalpaks and all those who fought valiantly in 1918-1919 and sacrificed their lives to secure a free Latvia. The service is distinguished by the presence of members of Latvian fraternities and their colours, marking the special role of fraternity members in Kalpak’s battalion and the battles for Latvian freedom
In celebration of our Latvian heritage, an ecumenical worship service is usually held as part of the Latvian Song Festival programme.
On the 18th of November, Latvians throughout the world remember the proclamation of a free Latvia in 1919 and give thanks to God for the gift of freedom. During the years of brutal and illegal Soviet occupation of Latvia (1943-1993), this memorial service was often very solemn, remembering those who still suffered under communist rule. However, after Latvia regained her independence in 1993, the mood of our November 18th worship has been one of promise and celebration.
On the Sunday closest to June 14th, St. John’s congregation remembers the thousands of innocent victims of Soviet communist oppression who were deported during the terrible year of 1941 and in subsequent terror campaigns during the illegal Soviet occupation of Latvia.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent is an informal morning worship service of hymns and readings, followed by the decoration of the Christmas tree and the altar area. It is a service for the whole family with young and old participating in the fun – and enjoying carols around the grand piano in the church, the mulled wine, hot chocolate and traditional Christmas treats as well!