Special services

Regathering Sunday

On the second Sunday of September, we give thanks for our congregation’s life and gather again in covenant and community as we begin a new program year together.

Healing Sundays

On four Sundays during the year at the morning service, we pray for health and wholeness in our lives, our congregation, and in the world. We are also invited to receive a sign of God’s healing love (prayer, soothing oil, “laying-on-of-hands”).

Blessing of the Animals

Annually, the church also opens its doors for a Blessing of the Animals, with cats, dogs, birds and other creatures joining us in worship (and often raising up their voices with us in “song”). Photos, toys or other symbols of animals who are at the service only in spirit are also welcomed for blessings by our ministers and lay leaders.

Commemoration of All Saints

The last Sunday of the Church Year, we celebrate the saints who surround us, living and dead, ordinary and extraordinary.

Christmas Eve and Day

In addition to a Christmas Eve candlelight service, we gather on Christmas morning for a service of holy communion and carol-singing.

Festival of Epiphany

On the night of January 6, we celebrate the light of Christ with a community supper, a candlelight procession, and a renewal of baptism.

Ash Wednesday

On the first night of Lent, we acknowledge our origins in the dust, our brokenness and our dependence on God, and receive ashes as a sign of mortality.

Palm Sunday

On the last Sunday of Lent, we remember Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem. We greet him with a “parade” of young and old, waving palms and singing traditional songs, as we enter the sanctuary to begin the morning service.

Maundy Thursday

We recall the new commandment Jesus gave his disciples, to love one another as he loved us. We also remember his last meal with his friends by celebrating holy communion. And in a darkened sanctuary, we call to mind Jesus’ anguish and arrest in the Garden of Gesthemene.

Good Friday

We lament the world’s pain and injustice, and we honor the death of the Lord on the cross of shame.


On Easter, we celebrate Resurrection of Christ and proclaim the message the God's love is stronger than death!


Pentecost Sunday commemorates the day when the gift of God’s Spirit fell on the early followers of Jesus, and everyone experienced the universal reach and reconciling power of God’s mercy. 

Upcoming Special services Events

April 17, 2014 - 7:30pm (Maundy Thursday Service)
April 18, 2014 - 7:30pm (Good Friday Service)
April 20, 2014 - 11:00am (Easter Sunday Worship)

Latest Special services News

Good Friday Service, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Posted: Feb 26 2014 - 2:53pm

We lament the world’s pain and injustice, and we honor the death of Jesus on the cross of shame. This year we will be welcoming members of Church of the Covenant (UCC/PCUSA) in Boston in this joint service, as their Sanctuary undergoes “greening” renovations.

Maundy Thursday Service, April 17 at 7:30 p.m., in the Sanctuary
Posted: Feb 26 2014 - 2:51pm

We recall the new commandment Jesus gave his disciples, to love one another as he loved us. We remember his last meal with his friends by celebrating Holy Communion. And in a candle-lit, then darkened, sanctuary we call to mind Jesus’ anguish and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.  The service will be led in part by members of our youth group.  A ritual of foot washing will be offered for anyone who wishes to participate. 


Lent at First Church
Posted: Feb 21 2014 - 10:39am

Each year on the first Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of Jesus being led by the Spirit into a desert wilderness for 40 days.  And by Holy Week, he is in the midst of the city, surrounded by a community of beloved disciples, ready to receive and share God’s mercy and peace, even through death.  Lent is a season for the Spirit, a season of prayer, reflection and preparation in which we too are called to let God’s mercy and peace move within our hearts. Join us as we journey together in Lenten worship, Christian formation for all ages, in small groups, and in congregation-wide circles.  Our theme this Lent is God’s Invitation to Us. Below is just a preview of what's in store.  Look to the upcoming EVENT newsletter and Sunday bulletins for more information.

  • Ash Wednesday, March 5th at 7:30 p.m., Lindsay Chapel 
  • Palm Sunday, April 13, 11:00 a.m. Worship (Service begins on the front lawn at 10:55 with procession into the sanctuary) 
  • Maundy Thursday, April 17, 7:30 p.m., in the Sanctuary  
  • Good Friday, April 18, 7:30 p.m., Sanctuary  
  • Easter Sunday, April 20, 11:00 a.m. Morning Worship
  • Plus, stay tuned for an invitation to participate in Lent, Holy Week and Easter choral activities.


  • Going Deeper:  Matthew, First Church & the Gospel Today 10 o’clock Hour Lenten Series,Sundays, March 2nd through April 6th
  • Going Deeper:  “Life Together” Lunches, Sundays, March 9, 16 and 23 at 12:30


  • Why Does Jesus' Death Matter?, Sundays from 6:00–8:00 p.m., March 9 to April 6
  • Lenten Family Nights, Tuesdays, March 11th to April 15th, 5:30 – 7:15 pm
  • Christian Meditation, Wednesdays from 6:00–7:00 pm
  • Spiritual Formation Group, Thursday Nights, March 6th - April 10th, 5:15 – 6:30 pm
  • All Church “Soup and Stories” at the Parsonage, Thursday, March 13, and Wednesday, March 26, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Parsonage (44 Garden Street)


  • Practices Of the Heart: Making Room for God’s Invitation in Daily Life, a new brochure of ideas for spiritual practices, available starting March 2.


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Visit the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence to learn more about this important work!

An Act Providing Housing and Support Services for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. The Mass Conference of the UCC supports the bill. Call Alice Kidder at (617) 276-6227 for information.