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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.

Please fill out this welcome form to connect with us.

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


Service Times

Beginning on Trinity Sunday, May 30, 2021, worship will be open to anyone without pre-registration or distancing requirements. We will continue requiring that worshippers be masked for now. 

Our schedule of services will remain the same throughout the summer:

 - 9:00 a.m. (English) in the church

 - 10:30 a.m. (English) in the church

 - Noon (Spanish) in Nourse Hall

Communion in one kind (i.e. wafers) will be offered at the main altar, although we will happily bring communion to those for whom steps are challenging. 

Masked hymn singing both indoors and outdoors will be permitted, and music will be supported by a soloist and organ. 

On-line worship services in English and Spanish are available on Sundays beginning at 8:00 a.m. on our YouTube channel.




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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St. Alban's

Faith Talk - Stations


Posted by The Rev'd Emily Griffin on with 2 Comments

Sometimes it’s a joy to honor a commitment. This week, I had the privilege of “paying up” on the item I’d offered for our Gala Auction last month. I led a small group of parishioners on a guided tour of Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross paintings at the National Gallery of Art.

The significance of these abstract paintings isn’t always obvious. Newman titled the series “Stations of the Cross: Lema Sabachthani.” The second part comes from one of Christ’s last words on the cross: “Why did you forsake me?” (Matthew 27:46). For Newman, this was the essence of the Passion – the unanswerable question that is part of every person’s existence. We don’t need to be Jesus of Nazareth to feel forsaken by God in our suffering. For most of us, it’s simply part of being human.

Rather than following closely the traditional narrative of the Stations from Jesus’ condemnation by Pilate to his burial in the tomb, Newman (in my view anyway) shows us a landscape of loss and grief. He limits himself to black, white, and a raw canvas background.

The paintings have no center. Our vision is always split between what’s happening about 5 inches from the left edge and 15 inches from the right. I liken it to the way we often have to divide our energies; for many of us, it’s between our personal and professional lives. Or maybe it’s between our spouse and our children, or our parents and our immediate family. It could even be between our own physical and spiritual health.

Just when we think we have one part of our lives under control and in its proper bounds, the other goes haywire. It expands or blurs or splinters in our vision. The first eight paintings express this in black.

At the Ninth Station, everything changes. What was black is now white, and the raw canvas in the background itself seems to change color. Just as a sonnet tends to turn at the ninth line, so this series turns – echoing (for me anyway) the way suffering or grief can change direction and alter how we see everything else in our lives. The black returns full force at the Twelfth Station (corresponding to Jesus’ death in the traditional Stations) only to shift again to white by the Fourteenth.

The final painting or “coda” in the series is entitled “Be II” and looks like this:


It offers the only vivid color in the entire series, and only then just a thin strip. (To me, it speaks of sunrise.) It seems to represent our daily lives. Most of us don’t live in the Stations every day, thank God. We witness others walking through them at times; sometimes, we walk through them ourselves and manage to re-emerge on the other side.

Many in Christian circles have amended the traditional 14 Stations to include a Fifteenth Station for Resurrection. Newman, as a Jew, didn’t view his final painting that way. For him, it was more about how we live now as survivors and witnesses – and perhaps, as some critics have suggested, how we can take responsibility for what we’ve seen and for any role we may have played in causing another’s suffering.

There’s more we can say about Christ’s Passion, of course. Newman’s interpretation doesn’t exhaust its meaning. But his work does help us to hear Jesus’ cry in a new way and decide for ourselves how we’ll respond. I’ll close with thoughts more eloquent than mine:

“There is never love without sorrow, never commitment without pain, never involvement without loss, never giving without suffering, never a ‘Yes’ to life without many deaths to die. Whenever we seek to avoid sorrow, we become unable to love. Whenever we choose to love, there will be many tears. When silence fell around the cross and all was accomplished, Mary’s sorrow reached out to all the ends of the earth. But all those who come to know that sorrow in their own hearts will come to know it as the mantle of God’s love and cherish it as the hidden mystery of life.” -Henri Nouwen, Walk with Jesus, p. 83




Eileen Davis June 16, 2017 10:42am

Very powerful analysis, Emily. And thank you for the relevant quote from Nouwen. I've had a hard time reading him because I never seem to be able to find anything that connects ---- this passage is really fine.

JIM TATE June 19, 2017 4:37pm

There has been a lot of criticism and defense of these sparse line drawings. I don't pretend to be an art critic, but as a trained observer of nature I have a great deal of difficulty in understanding this body of work. For example, in Coda or Be II any naturalist observing the cycle of the sun in a given day would face North and see the red line in the West, at sunset- the end. Yes there is a promise of a new day starting with a red line on the right of another painting, but there will be a while before that glorious day arrives. That fits better doesn't it?
Thank you for your Cup. I enjoyed reading it. -TATE