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 at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Robert S. Boles.


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosting today are Darcy Montaldi & Tony Pulsone, with Nola Sheffer. 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.

1:15 Coffee Hour: Hosting this morning are Kara & Philip Marshall, and Jeff & Roxy Hanson. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule and select a date to co-host, visit www.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).

Entr’acte Resumes Today! Our own Rick Stone will lead a series of three sessions entitled “New Testament Perspectives on Old Testament Law.” Continuing the next two Sundays, this series begins with “The Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and The Great Commandment”, continues with “Paul and the Law”, and concludes with “Hebrews and the Priesthood of Christ.” For those new to the Advent, Entr’acte (“between the acts”) is held between the 9:00 am and the 11:15 am Masses in the Hunnewell Room (Library).

Compline at the Advent. Join us today at 8:00 pm, for the ancient liturgy of Compline, preceded by Lucernarium, an evening service of lamp-lighting. We pray Compline, the service of prayer before bedtime in the custom of early Christian monasticism, on the second Sunday of every month.


The Wednesday Bible Study is embarking on a reading of Isaiah. All are welcome. The group meets in the Hunnewell Room) Library, at 10:00 am until the beginning of Lent, the moves to 9:00 am during the Lenten season.

An introductory course in Biblical Greek will be offered at 6:45 pm on Thursdays at 43 South Russell Street. Corey Rouse will lead a 1.5 hour course using Clayton Croy’s Primer of Biblical Greek. Registration not required! Email carignanrouse@gmail.com for more information.

“Rise Against Hunger” this Saturday, February 15, from 10:00 am to noon in Moseley Hall. The Advent is once again hosting a Rise Against Hunger event for the members of our Diocese who are in the Boston Harbor Deanery. These are dry food packages — one complete meal in each package — that will be sent somewhere around the world where people are hungry. The goal of Rise Against Hunger is to see an end to hunger in our lifetime — a very lofty goal, and we can do our part.

We ask those who volunteer to arrive at 9:45 am. We are also looking for donations to offset the $3,500 it takes to put on the event and meet the cost of the food and materials. Any gifts to help with this cause will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact Father James. For more info, go to www.riseagainsthunger.org.


Advent Tour. Today following the 11:15 Mass, our Verger, Raymond Porter, will give a 10–15 minute tour of the church building. Meet him in the Baptistry immediately following the Postlude and learn about our fascinating, complicated, historic building. Tours occur regularly on the third Sunday of each month.

Evensong & Benediction. Next Sunday, February 16 at 5:00 pm, Evensong will be sung by The Advent Choir, featuring “Like as the Hart” by Howells, and the new (to us!) Magdalene College Service and Responses of Kenneth Leighton. The service lasts no more than one hour, and is followed by a light supper and libation in Moseley Hall to which all are invited.

Mark Dwyer will speak to us during supper about Music and the Anglo-Catholic Revival, Part Two: “What did they sing and why did they sing it?” Concurrent theological, artistic, architectural and musical movements came together during the mid-nineteenth century to produce an ongoing search for the ideal sacred music: that which is beautifully fitting, and fittingly beautiful.

Barbara Bruns, our friend and neighbor from Christ Church, Andover, will play a Prelude Organ Recital at 4:30 pm, featuring works of Dupré and Franck and Howells. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, magna cum laude, from Augustana College and a Master of Music degree, with honors, from the New England Conservatory. Recognized as an accomplished recitalist, accompanist, and conductor, she is the recipient of the “Outstanding Alumni Award” from Augustana College and has concertized extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Since 1976 she has performed as soloist for national conventions of the Organ Historical Society, the American Guild of Organists, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.


A requiem will be said in the Lady Chapel with a special intention for the repose of the soul of Michael Terranova next Monday, February 17 at 3:00 in the afternoon. The interment will immediately follow in the All Souls’ columbarium. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Looking toward Lent

The solemn season of Lent begins Ash Wednesday, February 26. To make a right start of Lent, Masses will be offered at 7:30 am, 12:15 pm, and 6:30 pm. The Imposition of Ashes will be included at each of the Masses. It is not too early to be thinking and praying about taking on Lent disciplines. If you need help determining what your Lenten disciplines should be, you should contact and seek the counsel of one of the clergy.

Again this year we will also have a Parish Lenten Discipline published and available before Ash Wednesday. This Lenten program allows all of us to keep a Lenten discipline together with weekly Scripture readings, acts of self-discipline, and meditations we can all take on as a community. Please look for copies of the Parish Lenten Discipline as they become available in the west end of the Church.

A Lenten Note from the Rector:


“Septuagesima – seventy days
To Easter’s primrose tide of praise;
The Gesimas – Septua, Sexa, Quinc
Mean Lent is near, which makes you think.”

Septuagesima, Sir John Betjeman

Before the reforms of the 1960s, three pre-Lenten Sundays were part of the Church calendar. These Sundays, with the hard to pronounce names of Septuagesima, Sexagesmia, and Quinquagesima, denoted the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth days before Easter. While we no longer keep “Gesimatide”, it does afford us an opportunity to begin thinking about what Lenten disciplines we might observe. Here are a few:

Mondays in Lent: Women’s Book Study at 6:00 pm. A five-week discussion of A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans.

Wednesdays in Lent: Readings in John study immediately following the 6:00  pm Healing Mass.

Thursdays in Lent: Stations of the Cross at 6:00 pm

All beginning the first week of March.

During Lent, Morning Prayer will be said at 8:00 am to encourage attendance at the Offices. The Wednesday Bible Study will also move forward one hour, to 9:00 am, during this time.

Reminder: Palms for Ashes. There is a basket in the All Saints’ Chapel to receive last year’s palms from Palm Sunday.


A Note of Gratitude:

To all my friends and companions at the Church of the Advent —

My heart is full of gratitude for the many hugs, smiles, best wishes, notes, prayers, and — yes — even tears on the occasion of my farewell Sunday two weeks ago. I am learning that part of retirement is to take everything as it comes: the good days, the not-so-good days — and am buoyed by the many friendships and rich trove of memories developed over the years.

While I won’t be with you for Sunday and other liturgies, I am continuing with great pleasure to plough the fertile fields of the Advent Archives and will be providing stories From the Advent Archives regularly. In addition, my commitment to the Parish’s 175th anniversary is ongoing, working with donors and conservators to preserve and share our treasured artifacts and documents.

What an honor and privilege it has been to serve as your deacon, and to be in your midst at the most holy times: baptisms, confirmations, marriages, funerals, not to mention coffee hours, picnics, seminars and workshops, and chance encounters. In the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…”

Ever yours with prayers, love, and hope,

Deacon Daphne B. Noyes


A special custom for The First Sunday after The Epiphany

Saint Matthew tells us that when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem to visit Jesus, they found him and his mother in a house, not the stable where they had found their first temporary shelter. This is a cue that our Epiphany celebration should focus on our own houses, and it is a very old custom to bless houses on Epiphany. In the East, in particular, it is the custom for the parish priest to go through the parish blessing houses — not the elaborate blessing of a new home, but a special blessing that is also often given at Easter, a renewal of the homes in which the people of God dwell and live out the mystery of faith day by day. In recent years, this custom has been revived in some places in the West, and the Book of Occasional Services of The Episcopal Church provides forms for this blessing. However, there is another way of blessing homes at Epiphany that begins in church, but does not require the priest to go from house to house — something that would be quite impossible in non-geographical parishes like ours. This custom involves chalk that is blessed by the priest and taken home by families to mark the doors of their homes.

There is a basket of blessed chalk on the table near the main door of the Church. The chalk is to be used to hallow all our homes throughout our parish and our city. Please take some home with you. The initials of the legendary names of the wise men are written with blessed chalk on the lintel above the front door of the house, framed by the numbers of the new year, in this way:

20 + G + M + B + 20

After making the inscription, the following prayer is offered:

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Leader: Let us pray. O Lord, holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God, we beseech you to hear us and vouchsafe to send your holy Angel from heaven to guard and cherish, protect and visit, and evermore defend all that dwell in this home. I call upon thy Saints Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, to protect my family, friends and all who enter here from every harm and danger, and I place this mark over my door to remain as a reminder to us that my home is truly the House of the Lord. O God, make the door of my house the gateway to thy Eternal Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Lord.  
All: Amen.


A selection of six antiquarian books is on display in the lobby. These range from one of the earliest editions of the American Book of Common Prayer (1806), to a 1941 Book of Remembrance, documenting memorial gifts to fund furnishing the All Souls Room, now known as the Frisby Room. A copy of the 1806 Prayer Book, from the same publisher, in similar condition, is listed on AbeBooks for $750.

The books reflect facets of church, family, and national history, for example:

  • The final sacramental act of the Rev. William Croswell, on November 9, 1851, was to baptize Emily Otis Salter, daughter of Richard and Abbie Salter. “The holy hand which applied the consecrated element to the brow of this precious infant became motionless in death before it had time to record this its last sacramental act.” (#4 in the display)
  • Captain Thomas L. Sullivan, US Army, made a donation in memory of William G. Thompson, Esq., a parishioner at the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, member of the Massachusetts Bar, “friend of the oppressed and helpless, an uncompromising foe of entrenched political corruption, from his grateful and unknown friend.” Thompson was a defense lawyer at the controversial trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Venzetti, Italian immigrants convicted of first-degree murder during an armed robbery, and executed in Boston in 1927. (#3 in the display)
  • A Prayer-Book designed by Charles Robert Ashbee―architect, designer, social reformer, and a major force behind the Arts and Crafts Movement in England. He was one of the most significant figures in British artistic and cultural life at the turn of the century. (#5 in the display)

A binder containing sample pages from these books, together with supporting material, is on top of the display case.

February 10-16, 2020

Monday, February 10
6:00 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, February 11
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, February 12
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, February 13
Absalom Jones
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 14
Cyril & Methodius
8:15 am: Advent School Community Share
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, February 15
Thomas Bray
10:00 am: Rise Against Hunger
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal
10:00 am: Advent Flower Guild

Sunday, February 16
The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (Sexagesima)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte/Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
4:30 pm: Organ Recital by Barbara Bruns
5:00 pm: Solemn Evensong & Benediction

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