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 Joseph Hudak.


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosts this morning are Angie Corbett and Maggie Dunbar. 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 Maggie Eggert & Nick Westberg, Olivia James, and Daniel Orsen. 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).

Advent 175!

Today we launch the celebration of the parish’s 175th birthday. Excitement is building for the momentous occasion. In addition to the new bulletin cover (which will be used for the duration of our celebration), we will be introducing the events at both coffee hours, with treats, displays of treasures, bespoke merchandise, and more. Not able to make it to either coffee hour? Deacon Daphne can answer questions and provide additional information.


On September 29, the Advent celebrates the Feast of St. Michael & All Angels and welcomes the Rev’d Canon Dr. Victor Austin, who will preach at the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses. Fr Austin is Canon Theologian-in-Residence for the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and formerly served in a similar position at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City where he also taught at General Theological Seminary. He is also the author of several books focusing on Christian ethics and on the intersection of theology and everyday life, including the memoir Losing Susan: Brain Disease, the Priest’s Wife, and the God Who Gives and Takes Away.

Entr’acte Series: Christ and Culture Today. September 29–October 20.

This fall Frs. Welch and Hanson, along with Advent parishioner and PhD candidate in philosophy Nicholas Westberg, will discuss and debate Richard Niebuhr’s classic work, Christ and Culture, as well as the issues that the text still raises for us today. Christ and Culture is a clear, careful, and even-handed study of the ways Christians have related to the culture around them, ranging from total rejection to uncritical acceptance and various perspectives in between. Frs. Welch and Hanson and Mr. Westberg will present Neibuhr’s taxonomy and update his findings for our current situation in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.

Our history as American Episcopalians has been shaped by the most extreme ends of the Christ and culture spectrum, all the way from Episcopalian pacifists who were imprisoned for not taking up arms, to the more familiar (and numerous!) “Country Club Episcopalians” who, fairly or unfairly, have been judged for making a comfortable accommodation to their surrounding culture. It is important to understand these polarities as the culture war still rages around us and to imagine the distinctive contribution we can make as Anglo-Catholics, who interpret the question of Christ and culture as a subset of faith’s relationship to reason, and can therefore chart a middle course. For there is certainly truth and goodness found in human culture, but there is also distinct truth and goodness revealed to us in Jesus and the Scriptures that witness to him. And there is also the powerful and attractive alternative view articulated by Anglican theologian Frederick Denison Maurice of how Christ does not just reject or accept culture but transforms it in his own image.

These Entr’acte presentations are intended to be a conversation between the three leaders but with ample opportunities for others to join in. It should be fun and illuminating, so please join us. Copies of Christ and Culture are available in the Advent Bookstore; it is not required reading for these sessions, but some might find it helpful.


In honor of St. Francis: October 4 is the day the Church has set to honor and give thanks for the life and witness of Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Order of Saint Francis, known as a lover of God’s Creation and one of our most well-known and popular saints. So in keeping with the celebration of his life and witness, we will host our annual Blessing of Animals on the Sunday following Saint Francis Day, October 6 at 3:00 pm in the Church’s chancel.

Earlier that Sunday the children will be able to enjoy a petting zoo in the garden off Moseley Hall beginning after the 9:00 am Mass. Just as Saint Francis gave thanks for all God’s creatures and truly appreciated how creation returns thanksgiving to God, so we will have the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy many of God’s creatures.

Musical notes for today’s 11:15 Mass:

Sir Hubert Parry’s beloved “I was glad” was written for the coronation of King Edward VII and revised in 1911 for that of King George V, when the familiar introduction was added. Settings of Psalm 122 for earlier coronations were composed by Henry Purcell and William Boyce, among others. Parry’s setting employs antiphonal choir effects and fanfares. Apart from the imperial splendor of the music, Parry’s chief innovation is the incorporation in the central section of the acclamations “Vivat Rex…”  or “Vivat Regina …” (“Long live King/Queen …”) with which the King’s or Queen’s Scholars of Westminster School have traditionally greeted the entrance of the monarch. This section, which has to be rewritten every time a new monarch is crowned — because the Sovereign is mentioned by name — is generally omitted when the anthem is performed on other occasions. However, this morning, there is a surprise in store.

The Welsh-born Thomas Tomkins spent most of his professional life as Master of Music at Worcester Cathedral, where he supervised the construction of a fine new organ by Thomas Dallam, the preeminent builder of his day. Tomkins had a magnificent career as composer, choir-trainer and organist, yet the last fourteen years of his life were beset with a string of tragedies. Tomkins’ devoted wife Alice died in 1642, the year civil war broke out. Worcester was one of the first casualties: the cathedral was desecrated, and Tomkins’ organ badly damaged by the Parliamentarians. The following year Tomkins’ house near the cathedral suffered a direct hit by cannon shot, making it uninhabitable for a long period, and destroying most of his household goods and probably a number of his musical manuscripts. With the choir disbanded and the cathedral closed, Tomkins turned to composition. His second wife Martha died around 1653, and deprived of his living, Tomkins, now 81, was in serious financial difficulties. Tomkins died in 1656 at the age of 84. His beautiful setting of verses from Psalm 26, “O Lord, I have loved the habitation,” is particularly poignant in light of the end of his life in his beloved Worcester.


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 on Sundays, October 13 and November 17. If you are interested, please contact the parish administrator (office@theadventboston.org).

David Russo’s exhibit on John H. Sturgis has been enhanced by the new donation of a metal sign, originally located in the Bowdoin Street Church, reading “Contributions for building the Church of the Advent” — which dates it to the mid-1870s. The sign was rescued from the Bowdoin Street boiler room and safeguarded by Bowdoin Street archivist Carole-Jean Smith. This is a wonderful treasure from our earliest days; be sure to take a look.


Little-known facts, amusing anecdotes, and miscellaneous wisdom, in honor of the 175th anniversary of this parish.


Throughout his 27-year rectorate, William Harman van Allen repeatedly emphasized both the American and the Catholic nature of the Church of the Advent, all the while connecting the Advent’s unique personality with the Book of Common Prayer.

September 23-29, 2019

Monday, September 23

Tuesday, September 24
6:00 pm: Community Supper
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Wednesday, September 25
Sergius of Moscow
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Thursday, September 26
Lancelot Andrewes
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, September 27
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, September 28
9:30 am: Vestry Meeting & Retreat (All Saints, Ashmont)
10:00 am: Flower Guild

Sunday, September 29
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Procession & Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School / Entr’acte
11:15 am: Procession, Holy Baptism & Solemn Mass

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