Holidays & Special Services

The Christian life unfolds in a pilgrimage marked by seasons and sabbaths: a rhythm and cadence which shape, punctuate and give form to our journeys. From the triumphant, pounding timpani that thunders the Savior’s victory over death on Easter morn, to the tender, intimate imposition of ashes, we are moved, marked, and formed for faith in the seasons and sacraments of worship.

Christmas Eve

5:00 p.m. Candlelight Family Service
Children are invited to participate in an impromptu Christmas pageant, with simple costumes provided. We sing carols to tell the Christmas story together. Childcare provided.

8:00 p.m. Candlelight Service of Lessons & Carols
An elegant telling of the Christmas story in carols and readings with music for choir and organ, culminating in the singing of “Silent Night” in our candle-lit sanctuary. Childcare provided.

11:00 p.m. Candlelight Communion
A warmly traditional service with festive carol singing, traditional lessons, and communion in our garland-bedecked chapel. We greet the birth of Christ by singing "Silent Night" outdoors by candlelight just after midnight.

MLK Sunday

11:00 a.m. on the third Sunday in January
Old South Church honors this courageous, modern-day saint, and laments his dream still deferred, in fitting music, preaching, remembrance, and call to action.

Ash Wednesday

Ashes on the Way
Throughout the day, clergy provide holy conversation, prayer, and ashes outdoors to passersby.

12:00 p.m. and 6:00p.m.
Held in Gordon Chapel, these simple services of prayer, silence, confession, and imposition of ashes mark our entrance into the reflective and somber season of Lent.

Maundy Thursday

7:00 p.m. | Service of Tenebrae
This service of Tenebrae (Latin for Shadows) tells the story of Jesus’ last days. Led by the Willie Sordillo Ensemble and Festival Choir, we journey from the Communion Table to the Cross as the light around us dims.

Good Friday

The Chapel is open throughout the day for prayer and contemplation.

12:00 p.m. | The Seven Last Words
On the most somber day of the Christian year, we gather in prayer and song to hear the Seven Last Words of Jesus, and mourn the death that changed the world.

7:00 p.m.
The evening of Good Friday is met with our deepest prayers and laments. Acknowledging that words alone cannot hold the mystery of this day, the story of Jesus’ passion is dramatically conveyed through the music of Sir John Stainer’s beloved oratorio, “The Crucifixion.”

Easter Sunday

9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
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

9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
 As the “Church of the Finish Line,” we salute 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.

Phillis Wheatley Sunday

9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., on the Sunday nearest May 12th
Old South honors and learns from one of the saints of this church who was stolen from Africa, suffered the Middle Passage, was sold into slavery, and triumphed through her awesome wit and the mighty power of her pen.

Youth Sunday

Each spring, our Youth Group leads Festival Worship at 11am. Youth Sunday is our opportunity to be led and inspired by our older students, and to celebrate those graduating high school.

Pride Morning Worship

10:00 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday in June
On the day of Boston's annual LGBTQ+ Pride Parade, we fill the Sanctuary with song, prayers, praise, and worship of the God who loves and embraces all.

Children's Sabbath

Children's Sabbath celebrates the spiritual leadership of our kids, emphasizing their role in guiding us in meaningful ways today, not just in the future. On this special day, the children of Old South provide hospitality as ushers, as well as lead us through worship in song and word.

All Saints Sunday

11:00 a.m. on the 1st Sunday in November
In a solemn service of sacred music, we gather to name and remember our own beloved dead who now rest from their labors in the arms of God. A Requiem is performed by the Festival Choir and soloists, joined by a chamber ensemble for the occasion.

Meeting House Sunday

11:00 a.m., on the Sunday before Thanksgiving
We return to our ancestral home, the Old South Meeting House at Washington & Milk Streets, to give thanks for God's many blessings and the rich history of our faith. The service features a historical sermon, the reading of a Thanksgiving Proclamation, and special music for choir, bells, and brass.

Latest News

Old South Church in Boston is proud to announce that J. Shia, founder of Madhouse Motors, will receive the 2024 Open Door Award. The award…
By Kate Silfen, Church Historian | May 2024 Council Meeting Report Council’s virtual gathering in May was chock-full of meaningful conversations…

Upcoming Events

June 13, 2024 at 6:00 PM
June 13, 2024 at 7:00 PM