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 Peter Ward Britton.


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosting today are Bette Boughton and Jonnet Holladay. 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: Hosting this morning are Christopher Laconi, Kyle Pilares, and Steve Kies & Jonathan Maldonado. 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).

10:15 Meeting about Saint Michael’s Conference. Father James will lead a presentation in 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. The meeting will take place in Fr. James’s office on the second floor of the Parish House.

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.

Organ Recital. Today 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 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 title is “William Croswell: Begun, Continued and Ended in Thee”, about the life and times of William Croswell (1804-1851), first rector of the Church of the Advent. Croswell is 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. As we prepare to close the books on our Twelfth Night Silent Auction, we are pleased to report that $4,247.87 was raised for Advent 175 conservation efforts. If you placed a bid at the auction and have not yet paid for or picked up your item(s), please see Deacon Daphne or Robb Scholten. For those paying by check, please be sure to indicate “Advent 175” in the memo line. Thanks to all who contributed to the success of this event!

Missing coat. Fr Macdonald-Radcliff is missing a dark gray raincoat that disappeared from the coat room last Sunday. Since a similar coat (but with epaulets) was left hanging there, we assume that someone simply grabbed his by mistake. If you can help us solve this mystery, please see Fr Macdonald-Radcliff or contact the church office.

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

A note of thanks from Father Welch:

Now that I’m back in my beloved cabin in the Maine woods, I want to thank the congregation of the Church of the Advent for all the kindness shown to me during the interim year. From the very first telephone conversation with Tom Brown and Paul Roberts in the autumn of 2018 until last Monday, when I turned in my keys to Jim Singletary, I couldn’t have asked for a more congenial place to work and lovelier people to work with.

Special thanks should go to my clerical colleagues, Father James, Father Hanson, and Deacon Noyes, who overlooked my occasional grumpiness and covered for my more than occasional shortcomings. Each of them has extraordinary gifts for ministry and you are indeed fortunate to have had them among you. And let me note that Father Allan Warren brought each of them to the Advent, once again showing his remarkable gift for finding just the right people. Thank you, Allan. It was a privilege to follow you in ministry, first at Good Shepherd, Waban, and finally at the Advent.

Not having been an interim before, I was unprepared for what I now know is the major problem with interim ministry, which is that just as you feel like you’re beginning to know people (and remember their names!) it’s time to go.

Even though my time at the Advent was short, I pray that I was able to return some of the kindness shown to me and to express the gratitude I felt and still feel for the unexpected blessing of ending my priestly ministry in such a place and among such people. My heartfelt thanks to you all.   

Fr Truman Welch




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

More about the Annual Meeting:

The voting roll is posted outside the church office for review. If you believe there is an error of omission or commission, please contact the Clerk and the Wardens by the end of the day on Thursday, January 23.

So that all members to attend, there will be no Church School or childcare during the meeting.

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 by Tuesday, January 21.

Deacon Noyes Appreciation. Next Sunday, 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.

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.


Entr’acte Resumes. After the holiday hiatus, Entr’acte will be back beginning February 9. For those 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.


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 pWe have received 190 pledges, pledging a total of $531,327. 66 have increased their pledges by an average of over 16%, and there are 25 from those who did not pledge in 2019. We have yet to hear from 45 parishioners who pledged a total of just over $57,000 last year.


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. There is an opening for flower memorials or thanksgivings on February 9. If you are interested, please contact the parish administrator (office@theadventboston.org).

Palms for Ashes: There is a basket in the All Saints’ Chapel to receive last year’s palms from Palm Sunday. They will be burned to make the ashes for the liturgies of Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 26 this year.

Bells Rung for Fr Welch. In honor of Fr Welch’s year as interim rector, on Sunday, January 12, the Bell Ringers Guild rang a quarter peal, consisting of 1,342 changes. A list of those who rang is posted in the Parish House.

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.


How long will you keep us in suspense?

Title page from “The Practice of Piety, directing a Christian how to walk that he may please God” by Lewis Bayly (d. 1631), bears the name Mary Flagg – she who in 1774 became Mary Wilder. The book and Mary’s journal are part of the Advent Archives.

This plaintive question from John’s Gospel (10:24) marks the conclusion of our History/Mystery series, although not the end of either history or mystery. We will begin, perhaps counterintuitively, at the end: Many people have noticed and commented that Mary Wilder was the name of our former rector’s wife, known to us as Polly. Is there a connection? Yes, indeed. Allan Warren’s wife, Polly, was the third-great-granddaughter of the Mary Wilder who in 1799 wrote her name in the journal. Painstakingly delving into the Wilder family tree does establish some hitherto unknown connections, while leaving some questions unanswered.

  • Who are the “Mr. White” and “Hannah” referred to in the letter found with the book? (“After Mary’s death [in 1811], Mr. White gave the book to Hannah to treasure.”) This must be Mary’s husband, Daniel Appleton White (1776-1861), and Mary’s cousin, Hannah Flagg Gould (1789-1865), a well-known poet of the nineteenth century.
  • Who is the “Mr. Foote” to whom the letter is addressed (“[the book] seems closer to your family than to mine”)? The most likely candidate is Henry Wilder Foote (1875-1964), named after his father, who was the minister of King’s Chapel and the son of Mary Wilder White (1810-1857), daughter of the Mary Wilder of the journal, and Caleb Foote (1803-1894).
  • Who is the Albert Thorndike who wrote the note accompanying the journal? Albert Thorndike (1860-1935) was a financial agent in Boston who married Mary Quincy Gould (1872-1927), the first cousin twice removed of the Mary Wilder of the journal.
  • How, and when, did the book come to be at the Church of the Advent? At this writing, those questions must remain open, as connections between the Advent and Thorndikes, Footes, Whites, and others continue to be sought.
  • Finally, Thorndike’s letter to “My dear Mr. Foote” appears to be dated 1935, not 1925 as stated earlier. This means it was written just three months before Thorndike’s death.

How fitting, then to conclude with this excerpt (below) from “Daily Strength for Daily Needs,” first published in 1884, compiled by Mary Wilder Tileston, a great-granddaughter of Mary Wilder. She died in 1950 in Pima, Arizona, aged 84; her occupation is listed as “Deaconess.”

Long though my task may be,
Cometh the end.
God ‘tis that helpeth me,
His is the work, and He
new strength will lend.

January 20-26, 2020

Monday, January 20
Fabian, Bishop & Martyr  (Parish Office Closed)

Tuesday, January 21

5:30 pm: Bellringers
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, January 22
Vincent of Saragossa

6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, January 23
Phillips Brooks
5:15 pm: Property Committee
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, January 24
8:15 pm: Advent School Community Share
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, January 25
The Conversion of St Paul
10:00 am: Advent Flower Guild

Sunday, January 26
The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:00 am: Annual Parish Meeting
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

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