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What to Expect

We recognize that many people who visit a church for the first time do so with a bit of fear and trembling, but we hope that you feel warmly welcomed and comfortable at Old South Church. Old South is a spiritual home to people from all walks and stations of life, believers and questioners, people from a range of backgrounds and faith perspectives, who come together to worship God, become more like Jesus, and serve God’s creation.

We have highlighted some key information in this section, but the best way to get to know Old South is to talk with the people here. Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with one of our pastors, deacons, greeters, or the people in your pew, and learn more about our life of worship, fellowship, and service together.

What times are your worship services?

Old South offers three worship services per week, plus an additional service once a month. They share important characteristics, but each has its own “flavor.” Click on the links below for more details.

How do I get there? Where do I park?

Old South is located on the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets, at the Copley T stop, in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. We are conveniently reached by several subway and bus lines. We also offer validated parking at reduced rates in two local garages for people who need to drive. Visit Directions & Parking for more details.

What happens during church?

As you enter the church, a friendly usher will greet you and give you a bulletin to guide you through the service. All of our services feature reading, preaching, prayer, and music. At times, you will be invited to stand, sing, pray, greet your neighbor, be in silence, or read responsively. Though similar in important ways, each service has its own style and flavor. More details are available at the following links: First Worship, Festival Worship, Jazz Worship, Healing Worship.

Communion is offered at First Worship and Jazz Worship each week; at Festival Worship, we celebrate communion five times a year. Our communion table is open to everyone—baptized or not, confessed or not, sure or not, saint or sinner or a little of both.

At all of our services we maintain the ancient Christian practice of receiving an offering to support the church’s ministries. We welcome your gifts and encourage everyone to live a life marked by generosity. If you are unable to give financially, please consider an offering of time or talent to the church, another organization, or a neighbor in need.

Worship services and events at Old South Church are sometimes photographed and recorded to document the vibrant life of our church. If you do not wish to be included in these recordings, please notify an usher for assistance.

Do you offer childcare or Sunday School?

Children and families of all sorts are welcome and cherished at Old South Church. Infants through grade 2 are welcome in our childcare ministries beginning at 8:40 am. Care is available uninterrupted through First Worship, Community Hour, and Festival Worship. For details on Christian formation offerings for children, visit the Children & Family Ministries page.

What should I wear?

Some people come dressed in their Sunday best. Others dress more casually. Either way, we believe that God cares more about the state of our hearts than the state of our attire, and encourage you to dress the way that feels most appropriate to you.

How long do services last?

Festival Worship lasts about an hour. Jazz worship lasts about 50 minutes. First Worship lasts about 45 minutes.

Is there a coffee hour or fellowship time after church?

After each worship service, the Gordon Chapel is open for a time of fellowship and refreshment. We invite you to stick around for a snack or beverage, strike up a conversation, and make some new friends!

Do you offer a Sunday Bible study for adults?

Sunday morning Bible Study meets at 10:00 AM for a closer look at the day’s preaching text(s). These sessions are led by Old South clergy, who challenge us to break open God’s word and explore how it speaks to us and the world we live in. Other Bible studies and adult education programs meet throughout the week.

Is the church handicap accessible?

Yes. Old South offers a range of accessibility accommodations. More information is available by clicking here.

How can I get more information?

Please feel free to chat with one of our ministers after church. You can also email [email protected] and we’ll make sure your question gets to the right place.