Trinity Church, Boston

Infobox_nrhp | name =Trinity Church
nrhp_type =nhl

caption =Trinity Church in the City of Boston.
location= Boston, Massachusetts
lat_degrees = 42 | lat_minutes = 21 | lat_seconds = 7 | lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 71 | long_minutes = 4 | long_seconds = 28 | long_direction = W
area =
built =1873
architect= Henry Hobson Richardson
architecture= Richardsonian Romanesque
designated=December 30, 1970
added = July 1, 1970
governing_body = Private
refnum=70000733cite web|url=|title=National Register Information System|date=2006-03-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
:"For other churches with this name, please see Trinity Church (disambiguation)"

Trinity Church in the City of Boston, located in the Back Bay of Boston, Massachusetts, is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. The congregation, currently standing at approximately 3,000 households, was founded in 1733. The current rector is The Reverend Anne Bonnyman. Four services are offered each Sunday, and weekday services are offered three times a week from September through June.

In addition to worship, the parish is actively involved in service to the community, pastoral care, programs for children and teenagers, and Christian education for all ages.

The church is home to several high-level choirs, including the Trinity Choir, Trinity Schola, Trinity Choristers, and Trinity Chamber Choir.

After its former site burned in the Great Boston Fire of 1872, the current church complex was erected under the direction of Rector Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), one of the best-known and most charismatic preachers of his time. The church and parish house were designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and construction took place from 1872 to 1877, when the complex was consecrated. Situated on Copley Square in Back Bay, Trinity Church is the building that established Richardson's reputation. It is the birthplace and archetype of the Richardsonian Romanesque style, characterized by a clay roof, polychromy, rough stone, heavy arches, and a massive tower. This style was soon adopted for a number of public buildings across the United States, and was the first American architectural style imitated in Europe and Canada.Fact|date=August 2008


Trinity Church offers four services on Sundays, including a now rarely-heard modified version of Rite I Morning Prayer including a sermon and extra anthem. Weekday services include Holy Eucharist and Thursday Evensong. The church is unusual in the contemporary Episcopal Church for maintaining a traditional Protestant sequence of Holy Communion as the principal service on the first Sunday of the month, with Morning Prayer on subsequent Sundays.

Each December, the choirs of Trinity offer three iterations of a service of Candlelight Carols. These are a "Boston tradition", and very popular events, drawing nearly 5,000 attendees from as far away as Maine. A traditional scene in Copley Square in December is that of a long line of people waiting to enter the church for the free event. The service is based on the Nine Lessons and Carols model developed at King's College, Cambridge.

Trinity has played host to many special services over the years, due mainly to its central location in Boston, large seating capacity, and reputation as a parish willing to open its doors and be "Boston's church". These services have included interfaith (Christian, Jewish, Muslim) services immediately following the 9/11 attacks, a similar service following the July 2005 London bombings, and many prominent funerals, consecrations of bishops, and the like.

Sunday services include (all Rite II, unless noted):
* 7:45 a.m. - Holy Eucharist
* 9:00 a.m. - Holy Eucharist
* 11:15 a.m. - Holy Eucharist - first Sunday of month
* 11:15 a.m. - Morning Prayer (with Sermon) - modified Rite I - every Sunday except first of month
* 6:00 p.m. - Holy Eucharist

Weekday services include:
* Tuesdays, 6:00 p.m. - Holy Eucharist
* Wednesdays, 12:10 p.m. - Holy Eucharist with Laying on of Hands
* Thursdays, 6:00 pm - Holy Eucharist "or" 6:30 pm - Evensong


The Choirs

In addition to their primary function of supporting worship, the choirs of Trinity Church are fixtures in the rich musical landscape of Boston. The Trinity Choir has toured extensively, and can be heard on several critically-acclaimed recordings. The Trinity Choristers are a group of children who learn music and sing in the tradition of the Royal School of Church Music. The current Director of Music and Organist is Michael Kleinschmidt, who followed the twenty-year tenure of Brian E. Jones.

The organs

*1876: The original organ at Trinity was built by Hilborne L. Roosevelt in 1876, his Opus 29. It had mechanical action, assisted by Barker levers on all divisions and an electrically controlled Echo division, but its location in the chancel proved unsatisfactory, and the organ was moved to the gallery.

*1903: Hutchings-Votey built a new instrument for the chancel and made both organs playable from a single console.

*1924: Ernest M. Skinner undertook a rebuilding project, Opus 479, involving changes to both the Roosevelt and Hutchings-Votey instruments, but by 1926 it had expanded to Opus 573 as a virtually new organ in the gallery, as well as a new chancel console.

*1956: Aeolian-Skinner provided a new console in 1956 and, in 1960, installed a new chancel organ.

*1962: The gallery organ was extensively rebuilt, and major tonal modifications were made by Jason McKown, who maintained the organs for many years.

*1987: Jack Steinkampf installed a rank of horizontal trumpet pipes under the west gallery window. This festival trumpet is given in memory of Paul Albert Merrill.

*Late 1990s: In conjunction with the parish's building campaign, a plan was set out with Foley-Baker, Inc., for the cleaning and refurbishment of both organs and their joint console.

ervice to the Community at Home and Abroad

The parish supports many forms of community outreach and social justice ministry. These include partnerships with Rosie's Place, the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Pine Street Inn, Habitat for Humanity, Community Servings, the Walk for Hunger, the Rodman Ride for Kids, and others.

Twice a year, volunteers from the church form a medical/humanitarian mission to Rincón, Honduras.

Art and Architecture

The building's plan is a modified Greek Cross with four arms extending outwards from the central tower, which stands 64 m (211 ft) tall. The church is situated in Copley Square, in the shadow of the John Hancock Tower. Having been built in Boston's Back Bay, which was originally a mud flat, Trinity rests on some 4500 wooden piles, each driven through 30 feet of gravel fill, silt, and clay, and constantly wetted by the water table of the Back Bay so they do not rot if exposed to air.

Its interior murals, which cover over 21,500 square feet (about 2,000 m²) were completed entirely by American artists. Richardson and Brooks decided that a richly colored interior was essential and turned to John La Farge (1835-1910) for help. La Farge had never performed a commission on this scale, but realized its importance and asked only for his costs to be covered. The results established La Farge's reputation.

The church's windows were originally clear glass at consecration in 1877, with one exception, but soon major windows were added. Four windows were designed by Edward Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris. Another four windows were exceptional commissions by John La Farge, and revolutionized window glass with their layering of opalescent glass.

Trinity Church is the only church in the United States and the only building in Boston that has been honored as one of the "Ten Most Significant Buildings in the United States" by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 1885, architects voted Trinity Church as the most important building in the U.S.; Trinity Church is the only building from the original 1885 list still included in the AIA's current top ten list. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 30, 1970.

Additional sculpture includes works by Daniel Chester French and Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Noted artists represented in Trinity Church

* Daniel Chester French
* Edward Burne-Jones
* John La Farge
* William Morris
* Augustus Saint-Gaudens


ee also

*Trinity Rectory


External links

* [ Trinity Church in the City of Boston]
* [ Trinity Boston Preservation Trust]
* [ Photos of the interior of Trinity Church Boston]

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