Celebrating 175 Years

The story of the church of the Advent has been well and truly told in a series of official histories, starting with A Sketch of the Parish of the Advent published in 1894, when the parish was 50 years old, and proceeding to A History of the Church of the Advent, published in 1995. These volumes typically break down the parish’s history into periods congruent with the tenure of each rector. This collection, now, is different: it comprises an attempt to reveal snippets of the lives of those who came to church, said their prayers, lived their lives, married and were given in marriage, had dreams and disappointments, and who now are on another shore and, we hope, in a brighter light. They are rich and poor, black and white, men and women who form part of the intricate and intimate history of this intriguing place and the city it serves. Most of them are not memorialized in gleaming brass plaques or engraved on vessels crafted of precious metal. In other words, they are very much like you and like me. Their lives, what is known and what is unknown, form the beginnings of A People's History of the Advent.

Our History in Pictures

Birthday Wish List

Join the celebration of our 175th anniversary on December 1, 2019 by making a gift that will preserve our history for generations to come.

Books & Documents

Help preserve precious historical records and documents that need conservation, and books that require new bindings.

  • Church records and registers from 1844 to mid-1900s.
  • Constitution of Order of St. Vincent: Original leather-bound volume with illumination and calligraphy by OSV founder Robert Turner Walker, 1910. $2,600.
  • Plans for lectern from Cram, Wentworth & Goodhue, c. 1890. Six drawings, $700-$900 each.
  • Announcement of opening of Brimmer Street Church, 1883. $1,200
  • Certificate of Consecration of Brimmer Street building, signed by Bishop William Lawrence, with his seal, 1894. $1,500.
  • Three watercolors depicting Advent liturgies by Robert Turner Walker, ca. 1910: archival matting and framing. $300.
Constitution of the Order of St Vincent
Announcement of the opening of the Brimmer Street church, 1883
Original parish registers

Textiles & Furnishings

Support the Advent’s tradition of worshiping in the beauty of holiness.

  • High Altar frontal to match recently restored 1944 Anniversary Set, using original embroidery. $7,500
  • Hand-embroidered banner featuring Advent seal, to coordinate with new blue Advent vestments. $10,000
  • Restoration of embroidered silk banner showing St. Vincent with thurible, in memory of 18-year-old acolyte Walter James Smith, dating to early 1900s. $11,000-$15,000
  • Re-gilding of the wooden cross in All Saints Chapel, a relic of the Advent's earliest days. $1,250
  • Vestment restoration and repair. Price varies.
Madonna and Child vesica from original Anniversary Set
Detail of cope in need of repair/restoration
St. Vincent banner


Donations of any amount can be applied to the project of your choice. Undesignated gifts will be applied to the Advent 175 Conservation Fund and used where most needed.

To make a gift, or to learn more, contact a member of the Advent 175 team:

Maria Denslow

Thatcher Gearhart

Daphne B. Noyes
617-523-2377 x 135

Examples of completed projects

Certificate of Consecration, signed and sealed by Bishop William Lawrence on December 1, 1894 (the fiftieth anniversary of the parish) - before and after.

Vellum manuscript "Easter" with calligraphy and illumination by the Rev. Henry H. A. Anderson, 1922 - before and after.