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Welcome

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)

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

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

Directions

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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The Burial

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03.30.18

The Burial

The Burial

Series: Holy Week

Speaker: The Rev'd Emily Griffin

Where is Jesus’ family? Shouldn’t they be here – or did they desert him too? Families, no matter how dysfunctional, usually rally for this part – calling the funeral home, writing the obituary, showing up for the service. Yet here for Jesus’ burial we have Marys who probably aren’t his mother and a Joseph who’s definitely not the man who raised him. We don’t hear from the father Joseph in any of the Gospels after Jesus is about 12, so most think he died long before. But what about his mother Mary?

She’s come a long way, our Mary, from the teenage girl who was credited with the Magnificat long before she knew what she had gotten into being Jesus’ mom. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” It’s possible that she could be the “Mary, mother of James and Joses” mentioned here in Mark. John, of course, puts her at the foot of the cross – as she’s pictured here. Mark, though, isn’t so clear. If he means our Mary, it’s a bit odd that she’s described this way. Mark tells us earlier that Jesus had brothers – including ones named James and Joses – but there’s no real need for him to be cryptic at this point. Even if Jesus is dead now, she’s still his mother. Why not say so out loud?

Then again, Mark has never had any real interest in Jesus’ biological family. They’re mentioned just twice – once near the beginning, when Jesus’ fame is just starting to spread. We’re told that they tried to restrain him, that the rumors about him being out of his mind had gotten to them. Maybe they were trying to protect him; maybe they were just trying to spare themselves embarrassment. What we do know is that Jesus didn’t let their claim on him slow him down in the slightest; he said that “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Good news if that’s us wanting to be part of his family; not so charming for those who thought they already were.

I wonder how the Magnificat would have sounded to Mary on Good Friday – if she even recognized her own voice in it anymore. She was so confident back then, so sure of what God was like. Her God was the God of the exodus – the freedom fighter, the champion of justice who was not afraid to take sides with the weak against the mighty. Before Jesus was even born, she could claim “the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation…” Would she say that today? The strength of God’s arm is far from apparent, and today at least - the mighty seem quite happy on their thrones. When she said that God has lifted up the lowly, I’m guessing the cross wasn’t what she had in mind.

So does today negate everything she spent a lifetime trusting? I can’t say for sure; it’s beyond my pay grade to make that call for her – but I don’t think so. Her faith might need to go on muscle memory for a while; she might need others to sing her song until she’s ready to sing it again. But this was her son, her miracle child, her personal proof of the existence of God; his life was a gift, no matter how it ended or how long it lasted.

And if she looked hard enough, she could find mercies even in this horror. He didn’t linger in his suffering. And his disciples - the ones who should have taken the body and prepared the tomb – they may have fled the scene, but there were others who filled in – women whose names we may never have learned otherwise. We’re told that they followed him and provided for him while he was in Galilee; other translations say they served him. As we know, following Jesus is no easy thing – and service is the highest of callings in Jesus’ playbook. He said that whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, that he came not to be served but to serve. It sounds like some of the seeds he’d planted had found good soil after all.

And then there’s the other Joseph – Joseph of Arimathea. Turns out even the rockiest of soils could still produce some fruit. We’re told here that he was a member of the council, the same council that had brutally condemned Jesus to death the night before. Even if it took him way too long to find his voice, he eventually did – and performed one last work of mercy for our Lord. It may seem like a small thing, giving Jesus a proper burial – not worth the overblown press he’s been given over the years. But the way we treat the dead matters. The way we treat their bodies matters. We are not immortal souls with disposable bodies; our bodies are part and parcel of our identity. They are part of how we’re fearfully and wonderfully made. Whether we bury them or let them return to dust sooner rather than later, our bodies are never beyond God’s eye or God’s care. Joseph had the decency to recognize that.

So what about Jesus’ family? Were they there when they crucified our Lord? I suppose it depends on how you define family. Jesus’ biological family may very well have been there, but Mark’s Jesus would never think of limiting family to that. There’s the family we inherit, and then there’s the one created for us by the kingdom of God. In this family, we don’t get to decide who’s in or who’s out. There’s no inside track, no solid place where we can draw the line between who’s ours to care for and who’s not – whose bodies matter and whose don’t. Any act of kindness, of service is welcome – no matter who offers it. In this kingdom, teenagers can bring us from our knees to our feet. People who would never be named in the obituary can still be family. A stranger in a hospital room, a funeral home, a graveside can help gather our scattered pieces and knit us back together. Death doesn’t crowd everything else out in this frame. We watch as this torn and broken world is repaired – slowly, too slowly - one song, one act of witness, one work of mercy at a time. In the Name of the One whose kingdom makes us family, Amen.