As 2017 will mark the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, First Lutheran Church of Boston is launching a series of Vespers Services on Saturday evenings to celebrate the Lutheran musical tradition in a worship setting. The centerpiece of the hour-long Vespers services is a Bach Cantata with appropriate liturgical music, hymns, an epistle and Gospel reading of the day and a short homily. They are free and open to the public. The Saturday evening services begin at 5 p.m. (full schedule below), and will be preceded by half-hour instrumental preludes beginning at 4:30 p.m. Each service will feature a period orchestra, soloists and the First Lutheran Church of Boston’s choir. A wine and cheese reception will follow each service.

Download a brochure for the entire series of Vespers worship services here

Vesper Brochure_v3 (1)


The schedule is as follows:

1. September 26, 2015 @ 5pm (prelude begins at 4:30) – Ordinary Time BWV 114: Ach, lieben Christen, seid getrost (Ah, dear Christians, be consoled) Motets from the Florilegium Portense Readings (for the 17th Sunday after Trinity): Epistle – Ephesians 4:1-6, Gospel – Luke 14:1-11, (Introit – Psalm 50)

2. October 24, 2015 @ 5pm (prelude begins at 4:30) – Reformation Celebration BWV 188: Ich habe meine Zuversicht (I have put my trust) BWV 98: Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (What God does, is done well) Readings (for the 21st Sunday after Trinity): Epistle – Ephesians 6:10-17, Gospel – John 4:46-54

3. December 12, 2015 @ 5pm (prelude begins at 4:30) – Advent BWV 62: Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland (Come now, Savior of the gentiles) Motets from the Florilegium Portense and Leipziger Gesangbuch Readings (for the 1st Sunday in Advent): Epistle – Romans 13:11-14, Gospel – Matthew 21:1-9

4. January 23, 2016 @ 5pm (prelude begins at 4:30) – Epiphany BWV 111: Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit (May my God’s will always be done) Motets from the Florilegium Portense and Leipziger Gesangbuch Readings (for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany): Epistle – Romans 12:17-21, Gospel – Matthew 8:1-13

5. March 19, 2016 @ TBA (as part of the annual Bach Birthday celebration – Palm Sunday BWV 182: Himmelskoenig sei willkommen (King of Heaven, welcome) Readings (for Palm Sunday): Epistle – Philippians 2:5-11 / 1 Corinthians 11:23-32, Gospel – Matthew 21:1-9

6. Additional Service (funds permitting) Ascension Service, May 7, 2016 @ 5pm (prelude to begin at 4:30) BWV 11 Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen (Ascension Oratorio) Readings: Epistle: Acts 1: 1-11; Gospel: Mark 16: 14-20

For additional information, please contact Balint Karosi, First Lutheran Church of Boston’s Minister of Music and organist, at 617-536-8851 or by email at The church is located at 299 Berkeley Street between Commonwealth Avenue and Marlborough Street.


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