• Trinity Voices

Announcing “Candlelight Carols & Christmas Peek” and Our Christmas Eve & Day Plans

December 8, 2020

Advent-Christmas at Trinity Church


Advent Calendar

Ongoing through Dec. 25

Click Here for more info


Advent Forum Series

Sundays through Dec. 20, 4 pm

Forum Links Here


Wednesday Winter's Tales

Wednesday's through Dec. 23, 4 pm

Winter's Tales links here


Help us decorate our “Trinity Trees”

Sun., Dec. 13 – Wed., Dec. 16

Learn how to participate here


Opening Night of Candlelight Carols

Sat., Dec. 19, 5:30 pm

Facebook Live and our Website


Debut of Candlelight Carols & Christmas Peek

Sat., Dec, 19, 6:30 pm

Lighting of Trinity Church & Unvailing Ice Sculpture Nativity

In person at Copley Square


Youtube Live and on our Website

For more info, click here.


Ongoing Candlelight Carols & Christmas Peek

Sun., Dec. 20–Wed., Jan 6, 4:30-7:30 pm

In person at Copley Square


Youtube Live and on our Website

*Note: Building closed on Dec. 25, Dec. 31, Jan. 1


Christmas Eve

Christmas Pageant

Description and Links

4:30 pm


Festival Worship

Description and Links

7 pm

Facebook Live and our Website


A Christmas Compline

Description and Links

11 pm

Facebook Live and our Website


Christmas Day

6:00 am                   

Christmas Day Radio Hour

Description and Links



Christmas Day Compline

8:30 pm 

Compline Link



Dear Trinity Church and Friends,


As Boston readies for a Christmas like none before, your Trinity Church … is readying for a Christmas like none before!  As you will read below, we have planned a season of magic, surprise, and hope to support you and yours during these difficult times.  In a very merry mix of familiar and creative celebrations marking the arrival of Immanuel, the incarnate God with us – in this year, as always – we invite you to share in all the frivolity and solemnity of these holy days:


Candlelight Carols & Christmas Peek (Saturday, December 19 – Wednesday, January 6)

Since 1909, Trinity Church has annually hosted “Candlelight Carols” during the weekend before Christmas Eve.  A favorite tradition of the New England season and of our parish family, this year’s opening night will be Saturday, December 19, at 5:30 P.M, via Facebook Live and through Vimeo at our parish website.


Intending to share this treasured event with the whole city in a new way, we are pleased to welcome the Boston City Singers, conducted by Jane Money and Matthew Leese, to join the program, along with our Trinity Church Choirs and Choristers.


Moreover, our debut evening will begin from Copley Square with the lighting of Trinity Church, specially decked for this year.  We have commissioned local artist Steve Rose, of Boston Ice Effects, to create a life-sized nativity scene.  Located near the Phillips Brooks statue, this ice sculpture will stand as a loving homage to the celebrations of First Night that we and so many will miss as the calendar turns from this pandemic year.


That happy evening, we will also debut our West Porch twinkling with lights; a grove of Christmas trees enlivening a festive tableau in the Narthex; the sights and sounds of Candlelight Carols playing on the tableau’s screens and airing through speakers facing the Square; all with seasonal greenery and poinsettias framing our historic space’s center aisle, altar, and chancel crèche.


These features will comprise our “Candlelight Carols & Christmas Peek,” a program that will then continue most evenings from 4:30-7:30 p.m, through Wednesday, January 6 (the Feast of the Epiphany) and including Christmas Eve.  On December 19 and during the showings that follow, the main, West Doors will be opened to reveal the glassed nook’s “peek” into all these glad signs of the season.  As though enjoying a decorated shop window of old, we hope these scenes will frame a joyful selfie, inspire a Christmas prayer, rouse a family outing, and offer a glimpse of God’s glory – all by the safest possible means.


We ask all to remain masked, to socially distance, and to keep any queue moving.  There is no need to make a reservation to join in this joy!  And, beginning December 19, we will share a livestream link to see, from the inside, out, who is taking a peek into Trinity.


Help Decorate The “Trinity Trees”!

Beginning this Sunday, December 13, and continuing through Wednesday, December 16, we invite every Trinitarian to visit the church and help decorate our Narthex “Trinity Trees!”  Following this link, https://calendly.com/apoor/xmas-trees?month=2020-12  we invite you and yours to sign-up for one of the many ten-minute slots to visit the Narthex, enjoy the early décor, and to add some number of your ornaments to our trees.  As noted above, we will first open this festive tableau on Saturday evening, December 19, as we launch Candlelight Carols.  For those who will drive into the city to share your decorations, you are welcome to park (for up to your ten minutes) in the small lot along Saint James.  Signage and a parish greeter will direct you through the one-way into and out of the building via the west side-doors.


Scheduled for safety, we ask that you wear a mask while you are in the building even for this short while.  We also request that you bring ornaments that are not either too fragile or too precious to your family.  We will, of course, be careful when undecorating the trees in January, however, we will be only a small band of elves with a big task before us, continuing our pattern of de-densifying to keep everyone healthy.  We will then stow the ornaments until a happy 2021 Sunday when we are back together in person and can invite everyone to come and retrieve theirs from a table in the Undercroft.


Finally, for any who cannot make the trip to Copley Square, we invite you to share in the decorating by one of two ways: we welcome you to visit this link https://www.trinitychurchboston.org/sites/default/files/COM_2020_12_star_ornament_sheet.pdf  on our parish website and print, cut, decorate, and mail to our parish office (ATTN: Trinity Tree Ornaments, 206 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116) the paper ornament design you will find there.  Alternatively, our gift shop has an inventory of Trinity-themed ornaments that we can add to the tree on your behalf. Following this link, https://www.trinitychurchboston.org/give/pay-your-pledge-or-make-a-gift we invite you to make a donation (choosing “Trinity Tree Ornaments” from the drop-down menu) of at least $50, and we will add these special ornaments in the number of donations we receive. You may also send a check to the above address, noting the same, “Trinity Tree Ornaments,” on the memo line.  All these donations will go toward offsetting the considerable financial losses sustained by the closure of our Visitor Services' ministries during the pandemic.



Christmas Eve (Thursday, December 24)

At 4:30 PM we will convene live via Zoom for our annual Christmas Pageant.  Telling the Christmas story with scripture and song, we will assemble a tableau from near and far, featuring the familiar angel chorus, starry sky, and wild beasts!  If you would like your wee one to join in the story, please visit our website to find instructions for creating a simple costume or prop, as your child prefers. Encouraging as much creativity as the season’s Spirit inspires, this Sunday, December 13, at 2 p.m, Cathy Portlock-Pacitto, our Director of Children’s Ministry, will host a fun costume-making session, also via Zoom.  Please email Cathy here if you would like to join! [mailto:cportlock@trinitychurchboston.org]


At 7:00 PM we will then gather in the grandest fanfare of a Trinity Church Christmas.  Convening on Facebook Live and, on our parish website, through Vimeo, our worship will begin with a single voice singing “Once in royal David’s city,” before we continue with congregational hymnody including “O come, all ye faithful” at the open; “Angels we have heard on high” as a hymn of praise; “Hark! The herald angels sing” at the Gospel; and Trinity Church’s own “O little town of Bethlehem” at the Offertory.  We will pray the service in the Eucharistic form, and, following our shared “Table Prayer,” we will invite the congregation to dim their setting, light a candle, and sing “Silent Night,” before sending us all forth with “Joy to the world!” to close.


At 11:00 PM we will offer “A Christmas Compline from Trinity Church in the City of Boston.”  An intimate worship prayed from our Copley Square altar and shared via Facebook Live and, on our website, through Vimeo, this service will conclude our holy day together.  Telling once more the story of the babe born in a manger, we will sing quiet settings of “O little town of Bethlehem” as we gather; “Away in a manger” as we anticipate the Gospel; “In the bleak midwinter” as we reflect on the Nativity narrative; and “Silent Night” as we light candles on the very edge of the Incarnation.



Christmas Day (Friday, December 25)

At dawn, we will launch the grand finale of the daily Advent calendar we’ve been sharing: the “Christmas Day Radio Hour from Trinity Church in the City of Boston,” a podcast featuring Christmas music, lessons, and reflections.  As you light your morning fire or sip your coffee, begin the gift exchange or take a solitary, winter walk, tune into Trinity to soundtrack this gladdest of days with the company of God and the love of parish friends.  Hymnody will include samplings not heard on Christmas Eve, before concluding with the season’s final “O little town of Bethlehem.”


Between now and when we will share in these glad tidings together, I hope you will also continue joining us for our many Advent offerings, from our worship on Sundays at 9:45 a.m, to our seasonal read-alouds on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. Visit our parish website often for updates and schedules, https://www.trinitychurchboston.org/  and, in the meantime, let us all continue to dare hope in this long season of waiting:



How silently, how silently

the wondrous gift is giv’n!

So God imparts to human hearts

the blessings of his heav’n.

No ear may hear his coming,

but in this world of sin,

where meek souls will receive him, still

the dear Christ enters in.



Advent blessings,


The Rev. Morgan S. Allen