Worship

“Art and love alone are capable of opening us up to the eternal that stands behind them.”

– The Rev. Al Kershaw, Rector of Emmanuel Church 1963-1989

Got goosebumps? The ineffable and electric intersections between art and spirituality have long been central to worship at Emmanuel. Our services combine Eucharistic-centered liturgy and provocative, even subversive sermons. We have been a proudly progressive Christian community since our founding in 1860, long before the invention of the term “progressive Christianity.” Rather than celebrating a particular arrival at a spiritual destination, our liturgy is infused with celebrating what it means to be people of the Way, a journey where the questions are more important – and more interesting – than the answers.

From September through May, musicians from our resident music company, Emmanuel Music, enhance our worship in the sanctuary with sacred motets and Bach cantatas, featuring full orchestra and chorus – a tradition that is more than 40 years old. When the cantata season ends (mid-May through the beginning of September), we move into the intimate beauty of the Leslie Lindsey Chapel, and draw on the musical talents (both vocal and instrumental) of a variety of volunteer parishioners, led by our organist, Kevin Neel.

From time to time, enormous puppets lead our liturgical processions, or peer over the balcony in the organ loft. In short, whether you prefer to participate or to sit and bask in the beauty of the words and music, there are many ways to feed your soul at Emmanuel, so you can then go forth and feed the souls of others.

For a PDF of the Sunday service leaflet and an archive of several years, please see Bulletins of Emmanuel.