First, second and fourth Sundays - Sung Eucharist
Third and fifth Sundays - Gospel Eucharist
Two Sunday Morning Services
and Christian Education resumes in the Fall.
St. Philip’s is a liturgical church, which means we follow fixed orders of service, known as liturgies, which are found in the Book of Common Prayer. The Eucharist is the primary focus of our Sunday worship. The Revised Common Lectionary provides the schedule of Bible Lessons and Psalms to be read on specified days throughout the Church Year.
St. Philip’s is a diverse, inclusive community committed to welcoming all, praying together, serving our brothers and sisters in need and sharing fellowship.
We have all been newcomers and understand that when you are planning to visit a church for the first time, you can have questions. We hope that you will find the following information helpful.
If there are things about our worship that seem difficult and don’t make sense, be patient with the unfamiliarity. Consider that you are entering into a conversation with God and the faithful, which began centuries before we were here and will continue after we are gone. Just join in as you are, and we will all be changed as we go. All who seek God are welcome to the Lord’s Table to receive the Bread and Wine. Even if you do not seek God, you are still welcome because God seeks you. Come and hold in your and taste on your lips the love that we cannot comprehend.
We know it can seem daunting to visit a church for the first time, not unlike visiting a foreign country where you are uncertain about the customs and traditions. We hope this brief introduction will make your first visit at St. Philip’s more comfortable.
At 9am, We offer a said service of Holy Eucharist; that is, a spoken worship service of Holy Eucharist (Communion) with prayers and a sermon but without hymns or music. This service is often attractive to those who prefer and/or who wish, from time to time, to experience a more contemplative service of prayer and reflection.
At 11:00am, We offer a choral Holy Eucharist, which features hymns led by one of our choirs, and which periodically includes the use of incense and communal chanting of certain sections of the worship service. Specifically, worship is led by the Chancel Choir on the first, second and fourth Sundays and by the Voices of Praise contemporary choir on the third and fifth Sundays.
Our weekly service bulletin provides an outline of the service with page references to the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal 1982 and LEVAS to enable you to follow the order of service. You will find a friendly community at St. Philip’s—if you need help finding your place in the service, just ask anyone seated around you. They will be happy to help you!
Many people at St. Philip’s follow the ancient custom of making the sign of the cross at various points in the service, in remembrance of their Baptism.
Adults 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Church School (for children) takes place during the first half of the 10:00 a.m. Eucharist; the children then join their families in church after the sermon to participate in the remainder of the service. Ask an usher to direct you to the Church School classrooms. Parents are also welcome to bring their children to church for the entire service.
Church School (for children) takes place during the first half of the 11:00 a.m. Eucharist; the children then join their families in church after the sermon to participate in the remainder of the service. Ask an usher to direct you to the Church School classrooms. Parents are also welcome to bring their children to church for the entire service.
“Music at its best ushers us
into the holy, deepens our prayers, heightens our praise, provides an
aura of beauty that reflects the nature of God, lifts us into God’s
presence, and strengthens our bonds with all creation.”
~ Dr. William Bradley Roberts, Virginia Theological Seminary
From centuries’ old traditional Christian hymnody to Anglican chant to Negro Spirituals or to more contemporary Gospel hymns, the music at St. Philip’s strives to be “music at its best”. Currently, our music program consists of the Chancel Choir, the Voices of Praise Contemporary Choir, and the Handbell Choir.
The Chancel choir of St. Philip’s sings on the first, second and third Sundays of every month, from September – June. It is a group of faithful volunteers who lead the worship service singing traditional hymns, anthems and choral mass settings. At present, the Chancel choir rehearses on Thursday evenings from 6:00 – 7:30pm, in addition to a morning rehearsal preceding the 11:15am Eucharist. If you wish to join the Chancel choir, you may contact Erik Carlson at 212-862- 4940.
The Voices of Praise Contemporary Choir leads the congregation in singing on the third and fifth Sundays of each month. As their name suggests, this choir performs a varied musical selection of both traditional gospel as well as contemporary gospel and Christian songs.
The Voices of Praise Choir rehearses on Friday evenings at 6:00pm. If you are interested in singing with the V.O.P. choir, please contact Mr. Charles Lovell at the church office, 212-862-4940.
The handbell choir is comprised of an enthusiastic, intergenerational group of children, teenagers and adults that serve as bell ringers for our three octave set of Malmark handbells. The unique sound of handbells provides a beautiful accompaniment to the liturgy. The Handbell choir performs at festival services, such as the annual service of Advent Lessons and Carols, the Easter service and on other special occasions.
The historic Aeolian-Skinner organ, designed by the legendary G. Donald Harrison and installed in 1952, is the foundation for the music ministry of this church. It was considered by organists and organ-builders alike to be quite a unique and fine instrument upon its installation, and many noted performers have been featured in recital at St. Philip’s. Its classic tonal design provided for a fine ensemble of voices which today remain perfect in this great space, designed for fine music.
The placement of the 39 ranks and four divisions of the organ (Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal) in two acoustic chambers to the right and left above the Chancel strongly supports congregational singing. In addition, the sounds of the instrument so perfectly fill the church that if one is in the Choir Room, below the main church and quite far from the organ, the delicate, bright sounds of just the 8′ and 4′ flutes in the Choir Division can be clearly heard-almost as if they are in theroom!
As well, a Trompette-en-Chamade speaks dramatically from the rear of the nave. This elegant stop is considered by many to be the first set of such pipes installed by Mr. Harrison in this country.
This wonderful instrument has faithfully served St. Philip’s Church for over 50 years but is now in great need of repair and restoration. YOU can help! In order to help restore this great organ and continue a tradition of great music at St. Philip’s Church, please consider making a donation. Please make any checks payable to “St. Philip’s Church” and write “organ restoration” in the memo.
Beyond the music that is sung and performed as part of our worship, St. Philip’s also offers special concerts and musical events,
The St. Philip’s Credit Union was organized in 1951 to enable parishioners of St. Philip’s Church to invest their savings and obtain credit on affordable terms. Responding to the difficulty faced by many African-Americans in saving or borrowing money at commercial banks, the founders of the Credit Union started the organization with only $100.
The Credit Union is a federally-chartered financial institution. All deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Over the years, the Credit Union has grown to over $1.5 million in assets. Its mission is to encourage thrift among its members, and to assist them in developing a sound financial understanding. Membership in the Credit Union is open to all members of St. Philip’s Church. Parishioners can earn competitive rates on their savings, and borrow at reasonable interest rates for a variety of purposes.
The Credit Union is affiliated with St. Philip’s Church, but is independently managed by a Board of Directors composed of eight members of the church. The Credit Union is open on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 12:00-2:00 p.m.
The vestry is made up of lay people elected by the parish to work with the rector to oversee the temporal health of their congregation. Vestry members are elected at each Annual Parish Meeting in January.
Vestry Members: Keesa Schreane, James Thomas and R. Emanuel Scott, Jr.
Neal Baker, Geneva Chase and Eric Hall
Erdene Kims, Rita Livingston and Jasmine Vaughan-Atkinson
Buildings & Grounds: Garl Robinson & Randolph V. Jacobs, Jr., Member
Stewardship: Rita Livingston