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 thanksgiving for the ministry of the Rev’d Daphne B. Noyes — deacon, chaplain, preacher, teacher,parish historian, fund-raiser, and cherished friend.

The flowers at the crossing are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the generations of faithful parishioners, talented designers, and skilled artisans and craftspeople whose devotion, generosity, and handiwork have immeasurably enriched the Church of the Advent.

The flowers in the Lady Chapel are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Norma Dampman on what would have been her 96th birthday.


The 9:00 Coffee Hour resumes next Sunday. 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. 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).

Today, we welcome the Venerable Christian (Chris) Beukman, Archdeacon, Diocese of Massachusetts, who joins us to recognize Deacon Daphne B. Noyes as she begins a well-deserved retirement as our deacon. A native of the Netherlands, he attended Harvard Divinity School and Andover-Newton Theological School. The pastoral ministries manager of Linden Ponds Retirement Community in Hingham, he was ordained a deacon in 2009, has served parishes in Quincy, Walpole, and Franklin, and was appointed archdeacon in December 2018.

The ANNUAL PARISH MEETING is at 10:00 am this morning. Please go to the Hunnewell Room (Library) and sign in, get your ballot, a copy of the 2019 Annual Report, and a new edition of the Parish Directory. You may vote after you sign in, or during the meeting.

If you would be willing to help count votes, please come to the Library at the conclusion of the 11:15 Mass.

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.


Theology on Tap: Tuesday, January 28, 7:00 pm. Fr Michael Godderz, Rector of the Parish of All Saints, Ashmont, will speak on devotional societies. The Catholic Societies have played a significant part of the Anglo-Catholic movement. They have united devout and earnest souls within parishes as well as throughout the church, indeed, throughout the Anglican Communion. Further they have helped provide greater exposure to and support for various forms of catholic practice. We’ll consider the older, traditional Catholic Societies as well as a glance at the more recent as they have sought to promote catholic theological positions and devotional practices, and claim for this catholic-minded spirituality an acceptance and place in the Anglican Churches.

Organ Recital. This Friday, January 31, 7:00 pm, International Concert Organist Arvid Gast will present an organ recital on our renowned Aeolian-Skinner organ. Born in Bremen, Germany, Arvid Gast is director of the Church Music Institute at the Musikhochschule in Lübeck. In addition, he is titular organist of the historic organs in St. Jakobi Lübeck, and held the same position at the Concerthall “Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen” in Magdeburg. He is the founder of the International Dieterich Buxtehude Organ Competition in Lübeck, and last spring served as visiting professor of organ at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This summer, he will chair the jury of the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig. In 2018 he was chair of the jury in the first Boston Bach International Organ Competition. His recordings, concert invitations, and interpretation courses at home and abroad attest to his abilities as an eminent recitalist and pedagogue and he remains a foremost interpreter of German Romantic music. Professor Gast’s program will feature the famous Fantasy and Fugue on the Choral “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam” by Franz Liszt, as well as music of Karg-Elert, Reger and Widor. Free-will offering.


Next Sunday, February 2, the Feast of Candlemas, we will welcome the Rev’d Douglas Anderson, the Sixteenth Rector of the Church of the Advent. Fr. Anderson will preach and we will have the opportunity to greet him and his wife, Traci, at festive coffee hours following the Masses.


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 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.


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.

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.

Contribution Statements for 2019 will be mailed this week. If you fail to receive one, or find an error on yours, please contact the church office. Note also that a few boxes of pledge envelopes are still waiting to be picked up.


Many people are familiar with the historic relationship between the Church of the Advent and the Society of St. Margaret, formerly housed in their convent in Louisburg Square, now in Duxbury.

Far fewer (this writer suspects) have heard of the Sisters of the Holy Nativity, or are aware of the order’s connection with the parish. From the archives, here are selections from an unfinished manuscript by Kathleen Reeves, used with her gracious permission:

Sr. Ruth Margaret SHN (see below).

When the Society of St. Margaret learned of Grafton’s release [from the Society of St. John the Evangelist in 1882], they immediately requested his resignation as their chaplain. …At the convent, pandemonium reigned…the sisters were anything but neutral about Grafton. Dismissing him had polarized them into two camps. There began to be talk of a new order of sisters, to be founded by Fr. Grafton. In the end, three of the sixteen professed sisters and seven of the fourteen novices elected to follow their former chaplain. Sister Katherine, then a novice, recorded their convictions succinctly: “I would go to any house Father started.” The turmoil and anguish on both sides was desolating. There were wounds such could be healed only by time and prayer and much love. Thus, as the heartbroken Grafton said, “amidst much suffering” did the Sisters of the Holy Nativity have their beginning. […]

Undergirding the [members of the new order] were the enthusiastic women who would become the first Associates. It is not too much to say that these Associates were co-founders of the Sisters of the Holy Nativity, for from the first tumultuous days Mesdames Codman, Bertram, Minot (Fr. Grafton’s sister), Cobb, and Davis as well as Miss Andrews and the daughters of Mrs. Codman and Mrs. Minot took an active role in the financial and physical welfare of the fledgling order, even loaning the Sisters suitable clothing until new habits could be devised, since, of course, they had no clothing except their St. Margaret habits. A relationship of mutual love and support was thus initiated.

To be continued …

Pictured above: Ruth Margaret Vose (23 January 1826–26 May 1910). In 1881, at the age of 56, she made her life profession in the Society of St. Margaret. “She was not…an idealistic young girl,” writes Mrs. Reeves, “but a mature, realistic woman when she decided to cast her lot as well as a substantial inheritance with Charles Grafton.” After Fr Grafton was dismissed as chaplain to the Society of St. Margaret, Sister Ruth Margaret left that order and became the “mother foundress” of the Sisters of the Holy Nativity.

January 27-February 2, 2020

Monday, January 27
John Chrysostom
6:00 pm: Girl Scout leaders

Tuesday, January 28
Thomas Aquinas

5:30 pm: Bellringers
6:00 pm: Community Supper
6:00 pm: Boston Harbor Deanery
7:00 pm: Theology on Tap @ Silvertones (69 Bromfield Street, Boston)

Wednesday, January 29
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, January 30
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, January 31
11:30 am: Rosary
7:00 pm: Organ Recital: Arvid Gast

Saturday, February 1
Brigid of Kildare
10:00 am: Advent Flower Guild

Sunday, February 2
The Presentation of Our Lord (Candlemas)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Procession & Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School
11:15 am: Procession & Solemn Mass

Print Friendly, PDF & Email