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Special Annual Worship Services


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.

Holy Week

The heart of the mystery of the Christian faith plays out during Holy Week. As we mark Holy Week this year, we are encouraging everyone to attend both our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services are closely tied together, with a re-imagined Good Friday service that is not to be missed. 

Maundy Thursday, March 29, identical Tenebrae services at 6pm and 8pm in the Chapel. The Maundy Thursday service features the wonder of our Jazz ensemble paired with the 40 voice chancel choir, dramatically retelling the story of Jesus’ confrontation with the powers in Jerusalem.

Good Friday, March 30, service at 6pm. The Chapel will be open throughout the day for prayer and contemplation. Our Good Friday observance, at 6:00pm, picks up where Maundy Thursday leaves off. With the broken bread of last night's dinner still set on the table, this service tells the stark story of how human evil snuffed out the life of God's Son. This most tender and painful story of the Christian faith is told in word and music, with Willie Sordillo creating a brand-new musical setting specific to this occasion. 

Easter Sunday, services on April 1st 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.

Marathon Sunday

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.

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.

Christmas Eve

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. A warmly traditional service with festive carol singing, sermon, and communion in our garland-bedecked Gothic chapel. The congregation greets Christmas Day singing "Silent Night" by candlelight outdoors.