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 on the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Nancy Hockfield LaPosta.

The flowers in the crossing are given to the glory of God and in thanksgiving for Father Welch’s warm pastoral and theological presence, his heartfelt and illuminating sermons, and his kind care for all parishioners at the Advent.


Both the 9:00 and 11:15 coffee hours are hosted by the parish in honor of Fr Welch’s year of service as our Interim Rector. In addition, cake will be provide at the 11:15 by Celia Reddick & Alain Uwumugambi in celebration of the baptism of their daughter, Keza Isabelle. At approximately 2:00 pm, the Advent Bellringers Guild will ring a quarter peal in honor of Fr Welch.

We are also pleased to welcome back the Rev’d Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff, who will provide interim clerical assistance over the next few months as our many, many staffing transitions occur. Please say hello to Fr Alistair at the coffee hours.

Reminder: For those who have requested them, pledge envelopes are available for pick-up in the back of the church.

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.


Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Advent:

We are writing with a brief update on a number of matters.

This Sunday we bid farewell to Father Truman Welch. As we have written before, Truman has made his place as a lifelong member of the Advent family. We thank him for his service as our Interim Rector and wish him well in his renewed (and well-earned) retirement in Maine. Please make a point to stop by one of the coffee hours, which will be festive celebrations of Truman’s ministry, and thank him.

And then, on January 26, the Rev’d Daphne Noyes will serve her last Sunday as our Deacon before her retirement. We will plan an appropriate celebration of Daphne’s ministry later in the spring. In the meanwhile, we will be collecting a purse to provide a farewell and thank-you gift from the Parish family. To make a contribution, you can find envelopes at the back of the Church, marked “Deacon Noyes Purse”, or you may send a check to the office with that memo. Please be generous.

January 26 is also the day of our Annual Meeting. In addition to the usual reports, there will also be a report by the Search Committee on its work leading to the call of Father Anderson as our next Rector. We will also hold elections for Parish offices. We would like to thank the many (!) folks who offered to serve, and also Dustin Henderson and Maria Denslow, who served with us on the Nominating Committee appointed by the Vestry last month. The names of nominees are in this week’s announcements, and the Warrant for the meeting is posted inside the door of the Parish House.

Finally, on February 2nd we will celebrate Candlemas; and welcome Father Anderson as our new Rector, as our transition time officially comes to a close.  More on that exciting day in the weeks to come.

Faithfully yours,

Thomas Brown & Paul J. Roberts,



The Vestry has set the next Annual Meeting of the Parish for Sunday, January 26, 2020. At that meeting there will be elections for Vestry and for Diocesan Convention. To qualify to vote in a Parish election, you must be a baptized Christian, at least 16 years of age, who makes a regular, recorded contribution to support the Parish for the preceding year. You must also subscribe to the authority of the Parish By-Laws and the Canons of the Diocese.

Under the By-Laws of the Parish, the Clerk is responsible for maintaining the Electoral Roll. The Electoral Roll for the upcoming Annual Meeting is now posted outside the Parish Office. It consists of those who have pledged or made a similarly recorded qualifying contribution to the General Fund of the Parish during the past year. Your name must be on the Roll in order to vote. Any changes to the Roll must be made before the Parish Meeting commences. Please inspect the list and let the Clerk know if you think there is an error.

The Advent needs and values the participation of new parishioners, both in Parish life and Parish governance.

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the By-Laws of the Parish of the Advent, the Clerk has posted the Warrant for the Annual Meeting in the lobby of the Parish Hall, The Vestry has called the Annual Meeting for Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 10:00 am.

Faithfully yours,
Frederick Ou, Clerk


The following have been nominated for election at the Annual Meeting:

For Treasurer (One year term): Adam Rutledge (incumbent)         
For Clerk
(One year term): Frederick Ou (incumbent)

For Vestry (Four seats, three year term):

Christopher Laconi (incumbent eligible for re-election)
Philip LeQuesne (incumbent eligible for re-election)
John Boyd
Thatcher Gearhart
Betsy Ridge Madsen
Carolyn McDermott

For Delegate to Diocesan Convention:

Julianne Turé (incumbent)
Nick Westberg

For alternate delegate:
Robb Scholten

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 many 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.

On this, the First Sunday after Epiphany, we have 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.


What Is Saint Michael’s Conference? Next Sunday, January 19, we will have the opportunity to find out. At 10:15 Father James will lead a presentation about the Conference with the help of parishioners who have attended the Conference, served as counselors, or are senior staff members. Every young person who is between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one ought to attend this presentation, but more importantly, the parents ought to attend too. This week-long conference for teaching, learning, worship, and recreation has been offered each year since 1960 and has been a force in the spiritual lives of thousands of high school and college-aged students. Come and find out why.

Advent Tour. Next Sunday, January 19, our Verger, Raymond Porter, will give a 10–15 minute tour of the church building following the 11:15 Mass. 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.

Organ Recital, Evensong & Benediction, and Talk: On Sunday evening January 19 at 4:30 pm, King’s Chapel organist Heinrich Christensen will play the complete Symphony III of Louis Vierne, in honor of the 150th anniversary year of Vierne’s birth. A fiery and compact piece, it is an unusual to hear the Symphony played in its entirety, rather than merely as excerpted movements. Our glorious Aeolian-Skinner organ and rich acoustics perfectly suit the character of this music.

Following Mr Christensen’s recital, The Advent Choir will sing Evensong at 5:00. The canticle settings will be by the Spanish Renaissance masters Sebastian Aguilera de Heredia and Tomás Luis de Victoria. While Victoria is well-known to 21st century listeners, Aguilera de Heredia from Aragon is not nearly as celebrated, and yet he is considered the first major figure of the Aragonese School of music. He was first the organist at the cathedral in Huesca, and then moved to the more prestigious position of Maestro de Música at La Seo Cathedral in Saragossa, a magnificent and ancient cathedral which one can visit today, with a very colorful and tumultuous history. His double-choir Mode VIII Magnificat is joyful and multifaceted, very much like the architecture of the unique La Seo Cathedral itself. Weelkes’s spectacular “Alleluia, I heard a voice” with words from Revelation, and Charles Wood’s festive “Hail gladdening light”, will round out the evening’s musical offerings.

Following Evensong and Benediction, there will be a light supper and a talk in Moseley Hall by Deacon Daphne Noyes. The life and times of William Croswell (1804-1851), the first rector of the Church of the Advent, are rarely mentioned without placing at the center his conflict with Bishop Manton Eastburn, which marked nearly his entire tenure as rector. But there is more to his story which can help round out our understanding of the man and the parish he was so instrumental in forming. Deacon Noyes will offer a portrait of the William Croswell you (probably) never knew, drawing on his copious correspondence with his mentor, the Right Rev. George Washington Doane, and other contemporary sources. Rarely-seen artifacts from the Advent Archives provide additional context and round out the presentation.


The Twelfth Night Silent Auction was a rousing success, raising nearly $3,000 to benefit the Advent 175 Conservation Fund. After the Epiphany Mass, parishioners and friends flocked to Moseley Hall to enjoy a festive reception and bid on the assembled treasures. We’re happy to report that nearly everything was spoken for, and are grateful that so many books, prints, paintings, and artifacts have gone to new and loving homes. The funds raised will help us restore and preserve the treasures that remain here. Many thanks to all who pulled together to make the evening enjoyable and profitable. If you’ve not yet paid or picked up your item(s), please see Deacon Daphne or Robb Scholten.


Annual reports are NOW DUE. If you have not done so, please send yours to the parish office ASAP. Electronic submissions are preferred and using MS Word is greatly appreciated.

In addition to the annual report, we will be distributing the latest update of our parish directory. If any of your contact information (address, phone, email) has changed recently, please be sure to contact the office this week.

Please note that in order for all members to attend, there will be no Church School or childcare during the meeting.

Entr’acte resumes in February. After the holiday hiatus, our Entr’acte will be back on track beginning February 9. For those members new to the Advent, Entr’acte (between the acts) is our series of adult-education presentations held between the 9:00 am and the 11:15 am Solemn Masses. They are generally led by the clergy with occasional presentations by parishioners or guest speakers with knowledge in particular areas of expertise or interest.

To kick off this season, our own Rick Stone will lead a series of three sessions entitled “New Testament Perspectives on Old Testament Law.” Continuing February 16 and 23, these presentations begin 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.”

We will “rise against hunger” again on 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. We are looking for five or six volunteers from our parish to join volunteers from other parishes around the Deanery to prepare 10,000 meals. That’s right, we will prepare dry food packages, one complete meal in each package with the necessary vitamins and nutrients, 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 by stepping up and helping on Saturday, February 15. If you have helped with this event over the past few years, then you already know how much fun it can be. There’s music, some dancing, bells ringing to announce how many meals have been created, and just a good sense of satisfaction knowing that we are reaching out to others in need.

We ask those who volunteer to arrive at 9:45 on that day. We are also looking for donations to offset the $3,500.00 it takes to put on the event and meet the cost of the food and materials. Any gifts and donations to help with this cause will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in helping or making a donation, please contact Father James. For more info, go to www.riseagainsthunger.org.


Dear Fellow Advent Parishioners:

Thanks to all who have already sent in their pledges for 2020. For those parishioners who have not yet had the opportunity to make their pledges for 2020, we would like to encourage your thoughtful consideration to pledge whatever amount possible to support the challenges we collectively face as the worshipping community of the Advent. It is never too late to step forward and contribute whatever is appropriate. Please give further consideration to this year’s extended campaign for your “Time & Talent” which are a meaningful contribution of your stewardship at The Advent.

Please send in your pledges to the Parish office by mail, email or simply dropping in the Sunday collection; you can also easily pledge online by going to www.theadventboston.org and clicking the “Pledge Online” button.

All the best to everyone for your support of the Stewardship Campaign 2020.

Yours in the service of Christ our Savior and Redeemer,

Francesco Piscitelli and Thatcher Gearhart
Stewardship Committee 2020, Co-Chairmen

Thanks to those from whom we have recently received pledges. As of Friday we have received 181 pledges, pledging a total of $515,667. 61 have increased their pledges by an average of over 15.6%, and there are 25 from those who did not pledge in 2019. We have yet to hear from 57 parishioners who pledged a total of approximately $69,195 last year.


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. There are openings for flower memorials or thanksgivings in February. If you are interested, please contact the parish administrator (office@theadventboston.org).

Discount parking vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne or Nola Sheffer. You can find them between the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses at the Coffee Hour or Entr’acte. The vouchers can be used after 4:00 pm weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Questions? email: nsheffer@newview.org.


Mystery leads to history leads to mystery: Continued

The initial quest was to discover why the Advent has a petite journal, dated 1799, with the names Mary Wilder and Hannah F. Gould inscribed. In Part I, we determined that Mary and Hannah were cousins; their mothers were sisters. Searching for a link to the Advent led to an exploration of their genealogy. As the investigation deepened, links to some unexpected people emerged. Below is a genealogical chart with the Mary Wilder who wrote her name in the journal at the center, flanked by some of her nearly identically named relatives. Images from the journal are also included.

The following text is an excerpt from “Memorials Of Mary Wilder White,” by Elizabeth Amelia White, edited by Mary Wilder Tileston, published in 1903:

When only seventeen years old she became engaged to Antoine Van Schalkwyck, a young West Indian planter, who was exiled from his home in Guadeloupe during the years following the French Revolution. After many vicissitudes and anxieties they were married in 1801, when she was twenty years old, and not long after sailed for Guadeloupe. They arrived at an unfortunate moment: the island was in a state of insurrection, a mulatto having just been put in the place of the French Commandant, and there was general distrust and terror. Yellow fever was raging violently, and in three weeks from the day they landed her idolized brother, who had accompanied her on account of her husband’s ill-health, died of the fever. Three weeks later her husband died, leaving her alone in a foreign land. A few days after this a plot of the negroes to massacre all the white inhabitants was discovered, only a few hours before it was to take place and she had to fly to a neighbouring island. There she stayed for many months, until troops arrived from France after a hard struggle, put down the insurrection and restored order. She was desperately ill herself with yellow fever and a succession of other illnesses, and it was a year before she could return to her friends.

January 13-19, 2020

Monday, January 13
Hilary of Poitiers
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, January 14
5:30 pm: Bellringers
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, January 15
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, January 16
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, January 17
Antony, Abbot in Egypt
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, January 18
The Confession of St Peter

Sunday, January 19
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School/St. Michael’s Conference meeting
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
4:30 pm: Organ Recital
5:00 pm: Evensong & Benediction, followed by supper & talk

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