Special Annual Worship Services
Candlelight Family Worship at 5:00 p.m. Join us as we sing carols and tell together the Christmas story. Children are invited to participate in a live, unrehearsed pageant. Simple costumes for sheep, shepherds and angels are provided. Childcare provided.
Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols at 8:00 p.m. Preludes begin at 7:30 p.m. An elegant retelling of the Christmas story in carols and readings with music for choir, strings and organ culminating in the singing of “Silent Night” in the candle-lit sanctuary. Childcare provided.
Candlelight Chapel Communion at 11:00 p.m. Join us for a gentle service of carols and communion in the Gothic splendor of our Gordon Chapel.
New Year's Eve
Watchnight Service at 11:00 p.m. Join us for cool jazz, cleansing reflection, and affirming hope to ring in the New Year.
Ash Wednesday Services at 12 noon and 6:00 p.m. Held in the beauty of our Gothic Chapel, these are simple services of prayer, silence, confession and the imposition of ashes to mark our entrance into the reflective and somber season of Lent.
Maundy Thursday Service of Tenebrae (Shadows) at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. In the candle-lit Chapel, we mark one of the most solemn, powerful and poignant days in the Christian liturgical year. The office of Tenebrae (Latin for “Shadows”) commemorates the events of the Last Supper, Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of the disciples, and the moments before the crucifixion. It is a service of lessons and hymns, accompanied by the encroaching darkness. After feasting on the Lord’s Supper, the shadows gather, the lights begin to dim, the story – told in readings and music – rolls inexorably toward its conclusion. Having begun with light and music, we end in silence and darkness.
Good Friday Services at 12 noon and 6:00 p.m. The journey toward the cross culminates in a service of gentle song, prayer, silence and scripture on the most somber day of the Christian calendar. The nails are struck, the tomb is sealed, and we begin the wait for the Easter resurrection.
Easter Festival Services at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. with music for timpani, brass, organ and choir. Preludes begin 25 minutes before worship. The triumph of the Christian story of resurrection informs a service of worship that is characterized by thunderous celebration. Trumpet and organ, voice and timpani combine to bring us to the empty tomb, to peer inside, to see it is empty, to give God wild thanksgiving for the hope of everlasting life.
The Blessing of the Athletes at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Old South Church, one of the oldest churches in America and “the Church of the Finish Line,” salutes one of the oldest and greatest races in the world. Each year hundreds of Marathoners join us for worship, where we pause to acknowledge the runners, their families, and volunteers, and ask God to bless them, to keep them safe from injury and harm, to give them perseverance, to instill in them a respect for each other, and to pray, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, that they may run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.
On Marathon Monday (Patriot's Day), we ring our Great Tower Bell as the winners of the four elite competitions cross the finish line.
Blessing of the Animals
The first or second Saturday in May at 10:00 a.m. With Francis of Assisi, we think of the birds of the air and the beasts of the fields and the critters of the sea as our brothers and sisters. With Jesus of Nazareth, we proclaim that God’s love extends to the sparrows and to the lilies and to all of God’s good creation, including those creatures with whom we share our lives and our homes. This is an annual service of celebration and thanksgiving for the animals that give us so much joy. It is also a service of blessing. We will bless each critter and each relationship. And, indeed, we bless God for the gift of these amazing, loving, forgiving, and beautiful animals. (Critters that sting, bite or scratch should be contained. If you cannot bring a living creature, we will bless photos, stuffed animals, even ashes of the deceased.)
Pride Morning Worship
On the day of Boston's annual Pride Parade and Festivities, usually the second Saturday in June, Old South Church hosts Pride Morning Worship – filling the Sanctuary with song, prayers, praise and worship of the Living God whose delight in diversity is evident in every corner of Creation.
Meeting House Sunday
Each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we return to our ancestral home, the Old South Meeting House, at the corner of Washington and Milk Streets in Downtown Crossing, to give thanks for God's many blessings and the rich history of our faith. The service features a reading of the Governor's Thanksgiving Proclamation, and special music by the Old South Choir, Old South Ringers and Old South Brass.