We prepared for Sunday on Saturday by washing our hair, selecting our outfits and ironing them if necessary, polishing our shoes, and preparing some of the lunch dishes or desserts. My dad gave me 10 cents to polish his shoes, which I enjoyed doing. I wore dresses of course, with hat and gloves even as a young girl. One favorite pair of thin white gloves was embellished with small bluish-purple rhinestones. The men wore suits, and shirts requiring cuff links. Boys wore jackets and ties. This attire made gift shopping a bit easy for the men in the family, buying ties, tie clasps, or cuff links.
Mother was a Sunday School teacher and Dad was on many committees, including Building and Maintenance. For those, he often had to arrive early at church to turn on the heat and in later years the air conditioner. I often went with him when he was called in for problems and I got to roam around all the rooms. I recall there was a cellar type door to the crawl space below the main building that kids were afraid of, having been told 'the Devil could be down there.'
Several times a year we had Pot Luck dinners 'on the ground' as they called it. Nothing was bought. Everything was homemade from scratch - fried chicken, mashed potatoes, potato salad, and all kinds of pies and cakes. Sometimes there was hand cranked ice cream. The social hall tables were an amazing spread of temptation, and you felt you had to take a little of everything. The dinners were a happy social event, one that you hated to see end. The members seemed like one big family and some have remained friends for over 60 years now.
Old fashioned revivals were held every year or two. A special traveling minister, and maybe a musician, would come to town and we would meet every night for a week. We were indoctrinated to invite our neighbors and everyone we came in contact with to attend. There were many 'hell, fire, and brimstone' services with lots of lively singing.
With my mother as pianist, I had first hand knowledge of the special music that would be done every Sunday. Sometimes she met on Saturdays with the organist to practice. Once, the organist let me try to play the organ which seemed too complicated with all the foot pedals and dampers. I was not a great musician, which I regret a bit today. I loved to watch my mother play both at church and at home. The choir performed a cantata every Christmas which required many extra nights of practice. Occasionally she had me sit on the bench with her during the performance to turn the many pages. I had learned to read music, but it was difficult to pay attention and keep up with the long performance note by note. Mom was always a reserved or conservative pianist, preferring as she would say not to bring attention to her playing, but rather having the focus on the choir, the soloist, or the song itself. When we hired a new music director that started choosing 'swinging' gospel type songs, my mother resigned her position. She felt the music was irreverent.
The only time we missed Sunday church was if one of us was sick, or we were on vacation which was only a week or two in the summer. Later on we had our own lake cabin about an hour and a half away from home where we spent many weekends. In order to not miss services we would pack everything up early Sunday morning and drive all the way back home to get to Sunday School by 9:30 am. That was my parents decision, as I surely would have preferred another lazy day at the lake.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."