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Welcome to St. Alban’s Church! Every Sunday, and most days in between, people gather in this place to worship, to learn, to grow, to share the joys and struggles of our lives, and to seek God’s grace in the midst of our lives. We do not come because we have it all figured out, but because we are seeking light on the way. We come as we are and welcome one another.

On this website, you can find information about our worship, our classes for people of all ages, membership at St. Alban's, and about how we seek to make a difference in this world. We warmly encourage you to join us for a Sunday service or for some of the many other events that happen here. You belong at St. Alban’s.

Contact us with any questions. Call (202) 363-8286 or email the church office.

Service Times

SUNDAY SERVICES (after Labor Day through May)
8:00 a.m.       Holy Eucharist: Rite I (spoken)

9:00  a.m.      Holy Eucharist: Rite II

                        Children's Chapel

11:15 a.m.      Misa in Español (Little Sanctuary)

11:15 a.m.      Holy Eucharist: Rite II (Rite I during Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter)

Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday, 9:00 a.m.  Daily Morning Prayer

Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.                                    Holy Eucharist: Rite II


St. Alban’s Episcopal Church is located next to the Washington National Cathedral at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues in the northwest section of the District of Columbia.

From either direction on the north loop of the Capital Beltway/I-495 follow signs for Route 355/Wisconsin Ave south toward DC. St. Alban’s is located on the left just before the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Make a left onto Lych Gate Rd before you reach Massachusetts Ave. As you enter the drive, the church will be on your left and Satterlee Hall and the Rectory on the right. Stay on Lych Gate until it becomes Pilgrim Rd.

From any Virginia main in-bound thoroughfare (George Washington Memorial Parkway, I-395, Route 50, I-66), follow signs to Rosslyn and take the Key Bridge from Rosslyn north across the Potomac River into Georgetown. Go right on M St, left on Wisconsin Ave. St. Alban’s is located on the right just after the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Make a right onto Lych Gate Rd after passing Massachusetts. As you enter the drive, the church will be on your left and Satterlee Hall and the Rectory on the right. Stay on Lych Gate until it becomes Pilgrim Rd.

Parking is available on Pilgrim Road Monday-Friday after 3:30 pm and all day Saturday and Sunday. Parking is also available in the Cathedral’s underground garage for a fee Monday- Saturday and for free on Sunday.  You may also park on neighborhood streets according to DC parking signs.

What to Expect

Visiting a church for the first time can be a bit daunting. So we have tried to put together the answers to some of the questions you’re likely to have and to ensure that you find a warm welcome here. Click on the questions to learn more.)

How do you worship?

What time are services on Sunday morning?

How long do services last?

Where can I park?

Do you offer programs for children?

What should I wear?

Do you have provisions for the differently-abled?

For Your Kids

Children’s Ministry

At St. Alban’s Parish the formation of our children is a high priority.  While we know that a significant amount of a child’s faith comes from the home, we aim to provide excellent children’s formation throughout the year to complement the formation that is ongoing in a child’s life.  Our goal is to help children easily point to the love of God in their lives.

Worship: Children’s Chapel meets at the start of the 9:00 a.m. service in Nourse Hall. Children join the congregation in "big church" at the Peace, in time for Eucharist.

Education: All church school classes resume the Sunday after Labor Day with our annual Open House. Instruction starts the following Sunday. 

Nursery care: Child care is available from 9:00 to 11:05 a.m. during the program year (September to May) for infants and children under 3 who aren’t quite ready for our 2s & 3s class.

Learn more about Children's Ministries

Youth Ministry

Four teen groups participate in formation classes at St. Alban’s on Sunday mornings.  We use the nationally recognized Episcopal curriculum “Journey to Adulthood," or J2A.  J2A has two guiding principles: 1) Manhood and womanhood are gifts of God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned. This is a strong program with over 50 youth participating, many of whom engage in a wide variety of ministries at St. Alban’s. Two or three adults mentor each of the groups for two years, sharing their own faith journeys and forming strong bonds of fellowship with the participants. 

Worship:  St. Alban’s Teen Service Fellowship starts at 9:00 a.m. and is a separate service just for our teens held in the Little Sanctuary at St. Albans School. This interactive service offers teens time to talk about life, the Gospel, and to celebrate Eucharist together.  The teens return to "big church," before heading to their classes at the conclusion of the 9:00 a.m. worship service.  Friends are always welcome.

Learn more about Youth Ministries

The Episcopal Church

As Episcopalians, we follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe God is active in our everyday lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and with each other in Christ. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love. The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all of its members.

We uphold the Bible and worship with the Book of Common Prayer. We believe the Holy Scriptures are the revealed Word of God. In worship we unite ourselves with one another to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God's Word, to offer prayer and praise, and to celebrate the Sacraments. The Celebration of Holy Eucharist is the central act of worship in accordance with Jesus' command to His disciples. Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion with 70 million members in 165 countries.  The word "Episcopal" refers to government by bishops. The historic episcopate continues the work of the first apostles in the Church, guarding the faith, unity and discipline of the Church. Both men and women, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests and bishops. 

We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person. We welcome all to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.

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Cleaning House

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Cleaning House

Cleaning House

Series: Lent

Speaker: The Rev'd Emily Griffin

Where did he find the freedom to do that – to show unapologetically with his words and actions exactly how he felt? In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes quite an entrance. While the other Gospel writers place Jesus’ “cleaning house” near the end of his ministry, John places this protest at the beginning. For John, this is Jesus’ first truly public act. Sure, he’d just turned water into wine at a wedding, but that was a parlor trick compared to confronting the religious power structure head on. It seems like conduct unbecoming Judaism’s rising star, doesn’t it? The leading prophet of his day hailed Jesus as “the Lamb of God.” He looks more like a lion here.

No matter how many times we read it, it’s still shocking to hear about Jesus making a whip – yes, a whip - to drive out the merchants and their merchandise from the temple, pouring out coins, overturning tables. At the very least, it’s impolite. It’s downright vulgar by Episcopal standards. And it doesn’t sound at all like the wordy, placid Jesus we get in the rest of John’s Gospel – the one who’s always in control, who epitomizes non-anxious presence.

Technically, these are law-abiding citizens he’s targeting. They haven’t committed a crime. The other Gospels imply that they’re skimming off the top, but not here. Here in John, they’re just doing their jobs. It’s the time of the Passover. Jews from all over the known world are coming to offer their sacrifices. It was impractical to bring their own animals, so the sellers of the cattle and sheep and doves are simply making it easier for the faithful to make their offerings. As for the currency exchange, that was because the coins the pilgrims brought bore the image of the Emperor. They needed to be exchanged for coins that didn’t bear what some might call an “idol” or a “graven image.” It wouldn’t do to verge on breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Everyone here is trying to fulfill the letter of the law at least.

Could they have set up shop outside and avoided bringing all that noise and smell to the Court of the Gentiles, the only place in the temple where non-Jews were permitted to pray? Sure, but that would have required another layer of bureaucracy. And besides, what do non-Jews care about the Passover anyway? Here, our marketers have maximum foot traffic. They’re bringing efficiency and convenience to their customers. And hey, if the faithful aren’t treating this like sacred space, why should they?

It’s in this very pragmatic hustle and bustle that Jesus finds himself. By driving out the sellers and the moneychangers, it’s as if he’s attacking the sacrificial system itself – a seeming pillar of his own Judaism. Could he do that? It’s interesting that those who confront him don’t ask him why he did it; they only want to know under whose authority. They want some sign, some miracle, to prove that he’s acting on divine orders. It’s as if they know somehow that turning a place of prayer into a marketplace isn’t right, that this is not what God had in mind. They know - something can be technically legal and still profane, still wrong.

The Old Testament was not of one mind concerning temple practices. For all the priestly scribes who tried to regulate their way to holiness, there were just as many poets and prophets who couldn’t accept the idea that we find our way to God through ritual alone. It’s the psalmists who tell us that the sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit, that we should offer God a sacrifice of thanksgiving – not the flesh of some unsuspecting animal. It’s prophets like Jeremiah and Amos who remind us that no amount of perfectly executed ritual will protect us from God’s judgment when we’re oppressing the foreigner or the needy among us. Jesus is not some whiny outsider here throwing stones at an institution he has no investment in; it’s because he cares so much about what the temple is supposed to represent that he lets loose.

The temple was supposed to be a place for people from all over to remember who they were – most especially on the holiest days of the year. It wasn’t the only place they could find God, of course. They could and did pray at home. They prayed and studied Scripture at their local synagogues. The temple’s purpose was slightly different, though. By standing as it had for hundreds of years, through countless waves of regime change, it was a place for all Jews as well as God-fearing Gentiles to pray where generations before had prayed – to, as T.S. Eliot once put it, “kneel where prayer has been valid.” We understand that impulse. It’s part of why we’re here this morning as opposed to some mountaintop somewhere. It’s not because God is here and not there – we agree with today’s psalmist that “the heavens declare the glory of God” – but because the visible traces of our fellow travelers (past and present) mean something to us. The well-worn pews and worn-out prayer books, the ancient words spoken and sung, the sheer number of people who’ve been baptized or married or buried from here – they’re like trail markers reminding us that others have been through this same wilderness and somehow made it through.

Once we know a temple’s true purpose (or a church’s, for that matter), it is infuriating to see it distorted – to see it become about status and power, a way to grade other people’s holiness, to decide who’s worthy to come close to God and who’s not, where people are sorted by the offerings they can afford. Let’s face it - we are all capable of reducing what is supposed to be a living, breathing relationship with God into a choreographed series of moves and payments. Love should never be cheapened like that. And somehow, Jesus found the freedom to say so out loud - and to act in such a way that his convictions were unmistakable.

We could say he found that freedom because he’s the Son of God and we’re not, but it’s that simple. The God revealed in Jesus has always been about freedom. This is the God who brought the people of Israel out of slavery – who told them to choose whom they would serve, who gave them the capacity to choose – and who put laws in place to protect them from the worst of their choices. This is also the God who wants a higher standard of judgment from us than what’s currenty legal or illegal, who believes that we can still recognize what’s death-dealing, what’s profane, what’s just plain wrong – and who gives us the courage to speak and act on those convictions. And in just a few weeks at Easter, we’ll see yet again that this is a God who can bring new life, new action out of our worst choices, who gives us yet another chance to walk in new life, and who wants us – for God’s sake – to make the most of it.

In the silence that follows, I invite you to use it how you will – but consider how you might want to “clean house” this Lent. What rituals, what habits, what convictions have become unthinking substitutes for a living, breathing relationship with the God who loves you? What might you need to drive out so that something less fearful and more life-giving can come in? In the Name of the One who shows us what it really means to be free – Amen.