Click to find out about our Christmas and Advent events and services.
Click on the links below to find out more about each service.
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist – Rite I
9:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist – Rite II
11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist – Rite I
4:00 p.m. Service at the Washington Home
5:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist
God willing and the people consenting,
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde,
Bishop of Washington,
will ordain Juan Pastor Reyes
to the sacred order of presbyters
at St. Alban’s Church
Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 6:00 in the evening.
Your prayers and presence are requested.
A Message from our Rector
Beloved in Christ,
We are poised today at the turning of the year: the first Sunday of Advent, when in the darkness the light of Christ begins to dawn. The name of that light is Hope: hope for peace, hope for justice, hope for a world in which wolves do not prowl outside the door, in which children can play in safety and families can eat in plenty and old men and women can rest on their doorsteps in the sun.
This is also a time of year when many people wrestle with divine promises that seem too good or too improbable to be true. The Virgin Birth, a child both divine and human, even the very idea of salvation can be difficult to embrace when we have been trained in the rigors of science and observed the realities of history. And so we are caught in a bind: we yearn for hope, for Someone to trust in, but we sometimes fall short of that trust.
Phyllis Tickle likes to tell about an encounter she had once with a student, many years ago. He said to her, “I don’t see why people have issues with the Virgin Birth; it’s so beautiful that it must be true, whether it happened or not.” He was speaking of the difference between what is true and what is factual, that there are truths that transcend mere fact. For myself, trained as an historian, I am not sure I can embrace that distinction. I do think, with Saint-Exupery, that “what is essential is invisible to the eyes,” but history is real, too.
And yet, I think that when we get tripped up by the specific claims of our faith, we may be missing the point. Christianity makes exactly one claim that should bend our minds, stop us short in our tracks, and bring us up gasping for air: the claim that God loves us. After the wars, after the killing, after all the ways we degrade and shame one another and betray one another’s trust, God still loves us. That’s what Advent is about: the revelation of God’s abiding love, coming here, moving among us, preparing our redemption. Compared to that divine decision, all the rest of the miracles are grace-notes: delicate, beautiful, ornamentation on the major theme, which is that God loves us, always and ever and beyond all question, here and in eternity.
This Advent, sit with that truth, five minutes a day. Let it soak into your soul. Let it shine from your life. Then you, too, will say with the prophet, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. (Isaiah 9:2)
Have a blessed and holy Advent,