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Observance of the Sabbath Day: General Order No. 456, 15 March 1919

No. 456.

Washington, D.C., March 15, 1919.


In order to insure a proper observance of the Lord’s Day in the Navy of the United States, and to provide the officers and men with rest and recreation so essential to efficiency, the following order will be carry out:

Hereafter all commanding officers and others officially concerned will see to it that aboard ships and on shore stations to which they are attached, no work of any character whatsoever is performed except works of necessity.

This order will be construed and embracing target practice, and drills of every character, inspection of ship and crew, clothing inspection, issuing of small stores, and all other ship activities that violate the letter and spirit of this order.

No vessel of the Navy shall begin cruise on Sunday except in case of emergency.

In order to insure the regular performance of divine services aboard the vessels of the United States Navy, and at shore stations, it is further order that in no instance shall secular work be allowed to interfere with the holding of divine services, and that every possible assistance and encouragement to be given our chaplains in the conduct of such services. A suitable compartment or room shall be designated for this purpose, and properly rigged for the occasion, and orderly quiet be maintained throughout the ship during divine services. The ship’s band shall always be made available for use at divine service.

When there is no chaplain attached to his ship or station, the commanding officer will arrange for and give every possible assistance to any naval assistance to any naval chaplain in squadron, or adjacent, or available who might be able to come abroad for such purpose. In case it impossible to secure the services of regular Navy Chaplain, it is directed that commanding officers, when practicable, invite competent clergymen from ashore to come aboard and conduct religious services.

Secretary of the Navy.

Published: Fri Sep 02 13:14:16 EDT 2016