Invite a friend
Thursday Jazz Worship at Old South
You walk in from Boylston Street at the end of a long Thursday. The first thing you notice is an odd and wonderful juxtaposition: everything about the building you are in says "old," "staid," "well-behaved," "frilly," and yet the unmistakable wail of a saxophone, the thrum of an upright bass, speak of something wilder, more uncontained and mysterious. As you follow the sounds, you meet a smiling usher who hands you a worship bulletin and guides you into the Chapel.
Several things strike you at once. The chapel emulates a Gothic cathedral, with soaring arches, stone walls, stained glass, and a chancel and table at one end, but the space has been subverted. The rectangular, formal hierarchical space is set up in the round, and you walk in on a level with the band and the worship leaders—all of whom, incidentally, are dressed pretty much as you are. The space is dim, lit almost as much by the many candles as by the ornate chandeliers overhead.
You sit down and worship begins. The service is structured and yet informal. As the group progresses through ancient rhythms of prayer, preaching, and song, people move about the room at will, getting up when moved to light a candle, or to kneel and meditate on the cushions set up in the Chancel. The service is participatory: you are invited to call your prayers out during prayer time, to talk back during the sermon, to tell the story of communion together. The old stories are made new through intimate, eclectic, full-body worship. The music is a combination of jazzed-up church music and straight jazz reinterpreted by its churchy context. After the service, the worshipers gather for hearty food, mission projects, Bible studies, or, for visitors, a tour of the church. You head out relaxed, challenged, Spirit-filled, ready.
Sound like your midweek cup of tea? Then come, let the Willie Sordillo Trio, Associate Minister Quinn Caldwell, and the Holy Spirit be your guides as you seek to freshen a long-held faith or go deeper with a new one.
More About Old South Church
With natural light streaming through the 15th-century English-style stained glass windows, the sanctuary of Old South Church is free and open to the public during the day. Donations are welcome. There's a steady stream of people walking in from off the street to learn more about the history and services, or to sit in one of the pews to pray.
Built in 1875, the church is an important historical structure of Boston. The progressive congregation was founded in 1669.
Every Sunday, services include a morning prayer and communion at 9am and a festival worship at 11am. There's also a healing worship at 10am on the second Sunday of the month, and a jazz worship at 6pm every Thursday. You can download sermon podcasts online, and sign up for the e-newsletter.
Old South Church also provides Christian education programs for children, youth and adults; community outreach and mission trips; a strong music program; and the Old South Preschool, a non-religious preschool for children ages 2 to 5-years-old.
New members are welcome and the congregation is LGBT friendly.
Other events here
- Peaceful Mind In Difficult Times Sat, Jun 22, 10:00 am–1:00 pm