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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » Seeking a church in Boston

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Seeking a church in Boston
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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I'm venturing to Boston this week (work-related, and there are times when I do love my work), and I will be there on Palm Sunday.

I need a recommendation for a church on Sunday morning, preferably with really good music. I know Ascension is good; I also know it's nose-bleed high, and probably has a really long service - and I will have a plane to catch that afternoon.

Suggestions? Thank you!

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 15117 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Prester John
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# 5502

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All Saints Ashmont?
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Vetus Organorum
Apprentice
# 17990

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Are you looking for a Roman Catholic, or Episcopal church? If Episcopal, are you essentially looking for an Anglo-Catholic parish? There are numerous churches in Boston, with outstanding music programs, however the church you mentioned is not familiar to me. Then again haven't lived in Boston, for many years.
Posts: 5 | From: St. Louis, MO | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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Sorry - I seek an Episcopal church, good music a must, not too far from the Colonnades Hotel.

Thanks!

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I'm not dead yet.

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Joan Rasch
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# 49

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Of course, there's Church of the Advent , on Beacon Hill, where you will find a professional choir and liturgy done with military precision.

On the other hand... SSJE (Society of St John the Evangelist) is a wonderful monastic experience. There may not be a big choir piece, but it's the best space for congregational singing I know - in four parts, too! And I'll take you out for brunch in Harvard Square afterwards.

(PM me if you're interested)

Cheers from Boston - Joan

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* A cyclist on the information bikepath

Posts: 509 | From: Boston, MA USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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I never been to the US, but we had some visitors from Old South Church a year or two back, and they really impressed me. Not Episcopal, but definitely worth a look (especially the 11 am service), and I think within walking distance of your hotel. They certainly take music seriously.

[ 24. March 2015, 10:40: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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/tangent alert/

Good to hear from you, Rossweisse - hope you enjoy your visit to Boston. Not a city I've been to, alas, but if ever I do get across the pond....

Ian J.

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Knopwood
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# 11596

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I don't know the city, but it looks like the hotel is handiest to Trinity Church, Copley Square, which has just been MWed and is noted for its music programme, or Emmanuel, which appears similarly well-endowed. So if it's fine music without spikery you're after, it seems you picked the right neighbourhood.

The Advent was also just reported on, and as Prester John notes for Anglo-Catholic churches there is also All Saints Ashmont. The other Anglo-Catholic parish was the old Cowley church on Bowdoin Street, St John the Evangelist. They have merged with the cathedral, which is currently being renovated, and so services of the combined congregation are being held at the Bowdoin site for the moment.

[ 24. March 2015, 13:30: Message edited by: Knopwood ]

Posts: 6806 | From: Tio'tia:ke | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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# 10745

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I have never been to that part of the USA, but I know the Church of the Advent Boston by reputation.

I notice that there is a new report just published - No 2827 - having been MWed lately and I enjoyed reading it. One thing the MWer doesn't mention, is the ringing peal of bells (8 - I believe), which will interest any bellringers reading this.

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Joyeuses Pâques! Frohe Ostern! Buona Pasqua! ¡Felices Pascuas! Happy Easter!

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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quote:
Originally posted by Ecclesiastical Flip-flop:
I have never been to that part of the USA, but I know the Church of the Advent Boston by reputation.

I notice that there is a new report just published - No 2827 - having been MWed lately and I enjoyed reading it. One thing the MWer doesn't mention, is the ringing peal of bells (8 - I believe), which will interest any bellringers reading this.

My post crossed with Knopwood.

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Joyeuses Pâques! Frohe Ostern! Buona Pasqua! ¡Felices Pascuas! Happy Easter!

Posts: 1946 | From: Surrey UK | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Amos

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# 44

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I have a deep fondness for the Church of the Advent (Stockholm Syndrome). Trinity, Copley Square is just over the road from your hotel though (the Advent is a short ride underground and a little walk away).

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At the end of the day we face our Maker alongside Jesus--ken

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BulldogSacristan
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# 11239

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Welcome to Boston! I actually live only a few blocks from the Collonade Hotel in the South End. Full disclosure, I'm a member of the Church of the Advent, but I think I can give a good picture of the churches.

Closest by would be Trinity Church. It's sort of the "principle" Anglican Church for the city and is one of the colonial parishes. It's a traditionally low church parish in a traditionally low church diocese, and they still bear that out by having Morning Prayer with monthly communion as their main service, no incense, no reservation, etc. That being said, they're much more liberal, broad-church than in the past and have a few choirs who are made up of volunteers and professionals who are all fine. It's a huge Romanesque, Art and Craft-inspired space, and it's well worth a look even if you don't attend there. As an honest aside, one thing that annoys me to no end about them is that they ALWAYS fiddle with the liturgy and get creative, usually to the detriment of both orthodoxy and good liturgy. They are known as a "preaching church."

Emmanuel Church is very nearby too and was seemingly the classical Broad Church parish. It's a lovely building, and they've taken it as their charism to have Bach cantatas in the course of worship, sort of how they were intended to be used. They take music very seriously. I have never attended here, so I don't know how or if it comes off in practice. They're a very "affirming" parish, and their motto is, "Believing is not a condition of beloving or belonging here."

The Church of the Advent is just across the Common in the flat of Beacon Hill. It's my parish. (I walk from my house, usually, if that tells you about distance.) It's an Anglo-Catholic church and fairly large for an inner-city, shrine-type parish. We have a fully professional choir who sing the ordinary of the mass (often sans Credo, we most often use a congregational setting for it), the minor propers, an offertory anthem, and a communion motet. We do full Catholic liturgy wonderfully. The liturgy is technically Rite I BCP, but it is liberally supplemented with the American Missal. This Sunday we will have the liturgy of the palms with the procession, the passion gospel chanted by three members of the choir, and the mass is "Josquin Desprez: Missa 'Pange lingua.'” If you can't tell, I think you should come to the Advent; I'll be the thurifer! Sadly we won't be having our famous sherry hour after mass since it's Palm Sunday, but be sure to come down if you're ever in town again. The building is beautiful brick High Gothic with lots to look at.

All Saints' Church, Ashmont was mentioned, and they are a lovely parish. They're the Advent's sister parish and Anglo-Catholic as well. (NB they don't really have women servers ever, the Advent does and also has female clergy on staff.) They have a nice men and boys' choir who sing the ordinary and minor propers. They're a smaller parish and almost as far South in Boston as you can go and still be in Boston. It's the last stop on the Red Line. It was also Ralph Adam Cram's first whole church.

The Monastery of Saint John the Evangelist was also brought up. They're across the river in Cambridge at Harvard Sq. It's a stunning building. It's a clean Romanesque with rich, well-done trimmings, and this was one of Cram's last commissions, a "mature" work of his, if you will. I believe the brothers do a good "modern catholic" ceremonial, but I don't honestly know the specifics since I've never been to Sunday mass there. They have the full round of monastic services, daily mass and a four-fold daily office, so you could check out this place without going on Sunday as well.

Posts: 197 | From: Boston, Massachusetts | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged
Knopwood
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# 11596

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quote:
Originally posted by BulldogSacristan:
It's a traditionally low church parish in a traditionally low church diocese, and they still bear that out by having Morning Prayer with monthly communion as their main service, no incense, no reservation, etc.

From their website, it seems they normally do HC on the first Sunday of the month, but this Sunday being Palm Sunday is an exception and all four services (9, 11:15, 6, and 8) are advertised as Palm Sunday Holy Eucharist.

SSJE has this neat poster with the monastery's complete Holy Week schedule; for those for whom viewing PDFs is an issue, the same information is available as a web page.

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Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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Thanks, all. I am sore tempted by Advent (with which choir I am well acquainted via some excellent recordings), but I worry about the length - and I might be bringing a Presbyterian friend with me. I might yet make it, in which case I shall seek out the thurifer after mass!

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 15117 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Barefoot Friar

Ship's Shoeless Brother
# 13100

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Do kindly tell us about it, where ever you end up going. I like to hear about what other churches are doing.

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Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. -- Desmond Tutu

Posts: 1621 | From: Warrior Mountains | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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# 14322

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Each time I see the title of this thread, I feel I want to recommend this place.
[Killing me]

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7610 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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That one looks very nice !

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London
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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Indeed, but it's rather a long way away ...
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Albertus
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# 13356

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....depends where you're starting from.
++Ramsey was a curate there in the 20s or 30s. I think it's there that he's supposed to have found himself on the doorstep of his lodgings without his key. He called in through the letterbox to the landlady, but she misheard him: 'You're asking for Mr Ramsey? He's out'. 'Thank you', said Ramsey, 'I'll call back later, then'.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Swick
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# 8773

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The best liturgy with all the smells and bells would be Church of the Advent without question.

The best music would probably be Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street (they've sometimes been called, uncharitably, a music program attached to a church.

Trinity Church in Copley Square is the most interesting building. They'd probably be the best compromise-they'll have good music and a good liturgy.

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Stephen
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# 40

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Of course you should not neglect

This church

which has historic significance. I do not like the Latin fiddlebacks though.....

Although in fairness it's the other end of the city from where you're staying ( I think)

It does look a very nice city and a very interesting one as well.......

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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Bostonman
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# 17108

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Emmanuel has a unique combination of weekly Bach cantatas by a professional, separately-incorporated music program, 13 weekly AA or 12-Step meetings, programs for people who are homeless three days per week, and a resident rabbi and synagogue.
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