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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 

Weekly In-person Sunday Service Schedule (Please note: Service times may be changed during the seasons of Christmas and Lent and during the summer. Please refer to our calendar to confirm the times.):

8 a.m. (English) in the Church
9 a.m. (English) in the Church
11:15 a.m. (English) in the Church
11:15 a.m. (Spanish) in Nourse Hall (same building as the Church)

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. 

Weekly Live Sunday Services are live-streamed on our Youtube channel (St. Alban's DC) at 9 a.m. every Sunday, as is our Spanish service at 11:15 a.m. 

Evening Prayer Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. via Zoom, join us for a time of reflection and sharing at the close of your busy day. Contact Paul Brewster for the link. 



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, we believe that a child’s spiritual growth is just as important as their physical and intellectual growth. Our goal is to help children name and value the presence and love of God in their lives. We do this through a variety of means – by providing stable and consistent adult mentors, encouraging strong peer relationships, and supporting parents in their families’ faith lives at home.

Worship: This Fall, Children's Chapel meets during the first half of the 9:00 a.m. service in Nourse Hall (a spacious parish hall in the same building as the main worship space.) Kids and families join "big church" at the Peace so everyone can receive Communion together. To learn more, contact the Rev’d Emily Griffin.

Education: We've resumed our formation programs for the 2022-2023 period. Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Sunday School and Youth Group Classes are from 10:15 to 11:05 a.m.
  • Nursery, 2s & 3s, PreK to 1st Grade, 2nd to 3rd Grade, and 4th to 6th Grade all meet upstairs in Satterlee Hall. Youth classes meet downstairs in Satterlee Hall.
  • If you haven’t registered your child or teen yet, it’s not too late. Register in person at the start of class or click here

Questions? For children, contact the Rev’d Emily Griffin at . For youth, contact the Rev’d Yoimel González Hernández at .

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.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 Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

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The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Series: Pentecost

Speaker: The Rev. Deborah Meister

Tags: choir, christian, episcopal, music, sermon

            How do we come to love God? For those of us who try to live as Christians, that is THE question, isn’t it, the one at the root of everything. We come here each week, or as often as we make time; we try to learn about God; we listen to the sermons (at least, some of you do); we try to serve God. And yet, in all that, there is something cold, something lacking, particularly in an age when we are more attuned to facts than to truth. Dante wrote, “Reason has short wings.” (Paradiso) To come to love God, we need not only reason, but passion, beauty, ineffable things that cannot be touched by logic, that cannot be said in words alone. That’s why we have music. It touches our lives with grace.

            St. Mark the Evangelist does not mention music when he speaks of Jesus in the Temple, which is odd. From the days of the first Temple, great companies of musicians were central to the worship of the ancient Hebrews: singers and musicians were at the heart of the celebration of holy days. However, Jesus looks, not at the liturgy, but at those who make their offerings, at a crowd of rich people, and at one poor widow. Each makes an offering to God, and Mark notes that the offerings are generous, but there is a difference: the rich offer what they have, but the widow offers all that she is.

            That difference is central to today’s reading from Hebrews, which gives us two glimpses at our life of worship. The first is the high priest of the old order, the order before Christ. The author of Hebrews writes, “Year after year...the High Priest enters the Holy Place with blood that is not his own.” (Heb 9:25) Year after year, year after year: the words measure the span of a lifetime, marked out in holy days. In this case, Yom Kippur, the one day in the year when the High Priest would gather his courage in his bare hands and enter the Holy of Holies, the place of sacred mystery at the heart of the Temple, a cord tied round his ankle and trailing him through the door, so that, if the power of God lashed out and consumed him, someone else would be able to drag his body back to be buried. He would enter and sprinkle there a few drops of blood from the animal sacrifices, not his own, and then retreat once more to the calm certainties of the ordinary world.

            He was, no doubt, relieved to have survived: but I have to wonder whether he was not also obscurely disappointed, not to have seen the power of God, not to have gone up in one breathtaking blaze of glory? Annie Dillard writes, “I often think of the set pieces of liturgy as certain words which people have successfully addressed to God without their getting killed. In the high churches [like ours] they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a strand of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it any minute. This is the beginning of wisdom.”

            The other image we find in Hebrews is that of Jesus, who “has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Heb 9:26) Here is the High Priest who approaches the Holy of Holies without a cord, without any protection at all. He ascends the hill, dragging the cross; he is utterly immolated, by the love of God or by the fear and contempt of human beings, or by both, held together in his frail body stretched upon the cross.

            And we, how do we come to worship? We saunter, or we rush. We enter the holy place talking, greeting our friends, chattering about our week, checking in on some favorite project, or taking one more glance at the e-mail from the office; we enter the holy place trailing the cord of our daily lives, which frays behind us, and frays us in it.

            And once we are here, seated in the pews or lined up in the procession, how do we present ourselves to God?  Are we like the High Priest, repeating the words and the gestures, year after year, making offerings of what we have, but not of what we are? Or do we dare, like Christ, to offer our very flesh and blood, the breath in our lungs, the days and hours of this one life we have been given? (Which of these looks to you like love?)

            Of those who make this offer, few are more faithful than choir members. Twice a week, sometimes more, they gather: learning music; practicing, over and over, the hard run; cursing the triplet; reaching for the interval that eludes them; making -- as we all must, if we wish to follow Christ --the daring leap from the prosaic to the transcendent. Week by week, year by year, they give us the very breath of their bodies.

            And, binding them in one, the choirmaster, providing the vision, guiding the music.  For twenty years, in this place, that hand has been Sonya Sutton’s, first as assistant to Norman Scribner, then in her own right. Thanks to her gift of spirit and skill and care and time, we come to this church each week confident that the music we hear will guide us Christwards, if we let it. And yet, she does not do it alone. The frightening truth behind even the most brilliant Director of Music is that she is nothing without the singers: if they fault the line, she is helpless to go back and change it. She can only point them forward to pick themselves up, order the disorder, and regain the tune. (Kind of like life, isn’t it?)

            The issue is one of attentiveness. The first time I joined a church choir, we were singing madly through Mendelssohn’s Elijah, which we were going to offer to the community in a few weeks. When we got to the dress rehearsal, with the sudden addition of instruments, it came to me: this is like the Kingdom of God. Each of us brings what we have and we offer it with all that we are worth, but what makes it work is that we are all gazing in one direction, at the maestro. Even so, when we fix our gaze on Jesus, we learn to love him.

            When Jesus went to the Temple, the rich people were looking two ways: they were looking toward God, yes, but they were also looking at one another, showing off for one another. But the widow could not look at herself, because if she did all she would see was her own poverty. If she looked at herself, she’d have been blinded by how little she had to give. Looking at God, she could give it all, for God is the one who receives any wholehearted offering; God wants, not the gold, but the heart.