1140 Cowper St Palo Alto CA 94301 Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am

Celebrate the Advent Season at First Pres


Sunday, November 25 – Sanctuary – following the 10:30am service
Hanging of the Greens
All are welcome to join in this celebration of the changing of our liturgical colors and decorating of the sanctuary in preparation for the season of Advent. Every contribution of time and effort will help us as we transition into the new season. As a special thank you to the volunteers there will be a time of gathering for refreshments after the work is done! Please contact Alyson Melzer with any questions.

Saturday, December 1 – Fellowship Hall and Grounds – 10am to 3pm
The Garden Club of Palo Alto presents Holiday Marketplace 2018

Find handmade treats for yourself and gifts for others, old favorites, new surprises and unexpected treasures!

Sunday, December 2 – Sanctuary – 10:30am service
 – Advent Lessons and Carols! The First Pres Choir and the Albany Consort will lead a service of Advent Les sons and Carols on Sunday December 2 at the 10:30am service. The choir will sing Durante’s beautiful Magnificat accompanied by the Albany Consort. Francesco Durante lived from 1684–1755. His Magnificat was formerly attributed to the composer Pergolesi. The wonderful baroque ensemble the Albany Consort has performed at First Pres on numerous occasions. They will be led by Jonathan Salzedo on harpsichord and will be joined by 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, double bass, and continuo organ. Please come and join us for what promises to be a wonderful Advent Lessons and Carols Sunday on December 2!

Sunday, December 2 – Sanctuary – 2:00pm
Ragazzi Continuo presents An English Christmas

Come join Ragazzi Continuo for An English Christmas , a jaunt through familiar sacred and secular texts, but presented as they are sung across the pond! Many carols that we know, love, or have heard (perhaps) a time too many have fresh and unknown melodies that are used in the English tradition. This program, inspired by tunes from the King’s College, Cambridge Lessons and Carols service, will take the audience on a tour through the Anglican canon, with selections including 15th century folk songs, the sweeping polyphony of the English Renaissance, World War I era carols and more!

Tickets are $25, with a $10 discount for students and seniors as well as an additional $5 discount if purchased ahead of time. Tickets for the Palo Alto concert can be found here


In Celebration of The Christian Year – Tuesdays in Advent
This December find your place of peace and comfort in the quiet of the advent season by joining in a special three-week evening class focusing on the meaning of the Christian year, and the role that advent plays in the start of the liturgical calendar. This three-part series will be held on Tuesday evenings, December 4, 11 & 18 , offered by Anglican Benedictine art historian Dr. Catherine Clover, will offer an introduction to the poetic works of Anglican priest and poet John Keble (1792-1866), for whom Keble College in Oxford was founded, as published in his companion to The Book of Common Prayer called The Christian Year. Keble was noted for his love of nature found in the bountiful English countryside, and his poems are a testament to a quieter time with prose composed in thoughtful spiritual reflection as they follow the change in seasons, both in nature and in liturgy. They have provided many Christians with a starting point for meditation and self-examination, and can be used as a foundation of contemplative introspection throughout the calendar year.

In addition to the poems we will examine, where appropriate, how European painters have captured the spirit of advent in their narrative paintings, bridging the spiritual with the visual, while offering intimate scenes of the Holy family at the time of Christ’s birth. Artistic themes to be examined include The VisitationThe NativityAdoration of the ShepherdsAdoration of the MagiRest on the Flight Into Egypt and Massacre of the Innocents.

For those who wish to stay and end their day in prayer, the evening will close with a short service of Compline. Please join us for a simple communal meal of soup and bread beginning at 6:30pm in the Conference Room, followed by the class in the Chapel at 7pm  For more information and to rsvp contact Catherine Clover .


Taizé Wednesdays
We are pleased to be offering Advent Taizé services this December. These services will be held at 6pm on Wednesday evenings , December 5, 12, and 19 . The Taizé services will last for forty minutes and consist of short chants that are sung repeatedly, two scriptural readings, and a short meditation. The mood of Taizé is very peaceful and reflective, held in the beautiful candlelight of the church sanctuary. Harpist, Lara Garner, will play on December 5, and she will be joined by Palo Alto violinist, Virginia Smedberg,on December 12 and 19. The Taizé services will be followed by a simple soup supper in the conference room of the office building. Please bring a pot of soup to share and enjoy some fellowship time after Taizé!