Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person. Please join us downstairs following the service for a coffee hour.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.

The flowers in the Lady Chapel are given to the glory of God and in loving memory of Chuck Sunergren.

9:00 Coffee Hour: Abigail & Alister Lewis-Bowen and Mary & Paul Roberts host today. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

11:15 Coffee Hour: Sponsoring today are Stephanie Brown & Julius Krein, Charles Dale, and Xander Mojarrab. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/. If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).

A message from the Interim Rector:

It comes as no surprise to read that this July has been the hottest month in Boston since weather records began to be kept in 1872. Because of the extreme heat I’ve made some slight adjustments in the liturgy for the 11:15 Solemn Mass which will continue through August. The purpose is to shorten the service without subtracting any of the essential elements. We will return to our accustomed forms in early September or sooner if the weather moderates.

I’m sure everyone has been uncomfortable but on each of the last two Sundays either Deacon Noyes or I have had to leave the church because of heat related illness. Doubtless most of this is due to my advanced age but it does distress me when I can’t make it through the mass.

There are obvious solutions to this problem. Either air condition the church (spare change, anyone?) or get a younger, smarter, tougher, much improved rector. The good news is that there is a committee working on that! In the meantime, I ask your indulgence and understanding.   — Fr. Welch


On the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thursday, August 15, at 7:00 pm, a Procession and Solemn Mass will be celebrated at All Saints’, Ashmont. The Choir of Men and Boys will sing the Mass and the Rev’d Nathan Humphrey of St. John the Evangelist, Newport, will preach. An outdoor (weather permitting) reception follows the mass at the rectory.


The Church of the Advent will host expert bell ringers from throughout the United States and Canada Wednesday, August 21 to Sunday, August 25 for the North American Guild of Change Ringers’ Annual Meeting.

The “mini-ring”

The ancient English art of change ringing requires mental agility, concentration and teamwork where the ringers guide the massive bells through rapidly changing progressions of sonic permutations. The progressions can be short (a few minutes for practice exercises or to announce an event) or long (a few hours for a peal, the bell ringing equivalent of running a marathon, which consists of over 5000 unique permutations). Because the bells take over a second to swing through a full 360-degree arc, the ringers do not play songs, but rather ring methods. The methods, or rules for generating the permutations, vary in complexity, constantly providing challenges, even for expert ringers.

In addition to the tower bells at the Advent, there will be a mini-ring in Moseley Hall where you are invited to come along, watch, ask questions and even have a go. Open house times for this ring are on Thursday from 10 to 11, and Sunday between the two services.

Note also that in conjunction with this event, the Advent’s change ringing tradition is the subject of this month’s
Advent 175 display just outside the church office. Be sure to check it out.

Mark Your Calendars: here are some keys dates for the fall:

Sun, Sep 15: Church School registration

Sun, Sep 22: Church School and Advent Choirs return from summer recess

Sat, Sep 28: Vestry Retreat and Meeting

Sun, Sep 29: Michaelmas

Sun, Oct 6: Blessing of Animals/Petting Zoo

Sun, Oct 20: Entr’acte and Evensong & Benediction resume

Sun, Nov 3: Sunday of All Saints

Fri-Sat, Nov 8-9: Guild of All Souls meeting

Thu, Nov 28: Thanksgiving

Sun, Dec 1: Advent Sunday; Bishop’s Visit; 175th Anniversary

Thu-Fri, Dec 5-6: Anglo-Catholic Conference (at The Advent)

More information will, of course, be forthcoming. Stay tuned.


A Note about Community Dinners: In summer, many regular volunteers at the Tuesday supper are away, so if you were ever thinking of trying it out, now is a great time! Contact Barbara Boles (bbolesster@gmail.com) for details.


An occasional offering of little-known facts, amusing anecdotes, and miscellaneous wisdom, in honor of the 175th anniversary of this parish.

The bells in the Church of the Advent tower made news at their installation and blessing in October 1900, and again just over six months later, when this piece appeared in The Boston Globe, May 14, 1901:

Complain of the Bells — Neighbors of the Church of the Advent Say They Are Annoyed by Their Ringing

A formal petition against the ringing of the bells in the tower of the church of the Advent, corner of Brimmer and Mt. Vernon sts., is being circulated in the neighborhood. The bells are eight in number. The remonstrants claim that they are hung too low, and the the sound strikes the sides of the houses, with a disagreeable effect on sensitive nerves…

Who knows what behind-the-scenes negotiations took place that resulted in this announcement in the Globe of February 12, 1902:

Bells of the Advent — They Will be Heard Again As a Full Peal; Had Ceased to Ring, With One Exception, Because of Protest

photo of "Joyous Easter Bells" article from Boston Globe, 1902
Boston Globe article from Easter 1902.

That the music of bells does not affect all persons alike has been demonstrated by the brief career of the chimes that were hung in the belfry of the church of the Advent a little more than a year ago. For a short time these bells rang out their sounds with a vigor that was startling to ears untrained to the clamor of church chimes. Then, suddenly, the bells ceased to ring, all save one, whose clear tones continued to call the congregation to divine worship on Sunday mornings.

The piece describes how 20 minutes before the Sunday service, “the bells sent forth on the quiet air the notes of the stirring hymn, ‘The Church has One Foundation [sic].’ The tune is a familiar one to Episcopalians. Its brisk measure sounded mellow and clear as the bells pealed its cadence.” Additional hymns followed: “Oft is Danger, Oft is Woe,” and “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” in the morning; “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Onward, Christian Soldiers” were among the evening’s offerings.

For Easter 1902 (March 30), The Globe reported that the bells will ring out a program that Isaac P. Griffies (or Griffiths), Sexton and Chime Ringer of the Advent, “has prepared with considerable care.”

The bell brouhaha took place during the rectorship of the Rev. William Barroll Frisby (1888-1902); sadly the same bells soon would toll at his funeral on June 10, 1902.

August 12-18, 2019

Monday, August 12
Florence Nightingale

Tuesday, August 13
Jeremy Taylor
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, August 14
Jonathan Myrick Daniels
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Thursday, August 15
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
7:00 pm: Solemn Mass and Procession at All Saints, Ashmont

Friday, August 16
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, August 17

Sunday, August 18
The Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

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