Sunday Services

Each of our Sunday services has its own personality.

St. Mark’s welcomes you to join us for our Worship Services at our historic church at 301 A Street SE, Washington, DC (corner of 3rd and A Streets SE). Our schedule of services includes:

At the 9 a.m. service, we offer special worship opportunities for children. Children’s Chapel is offered the 1st, 3rd and 4th Sunday of every month.  Children ages 3-9 are invited to join us for a special time of worship just for them. We gather in the Nave at 9 a.m. and are dismissed up to the dance studio together shortly after the service begins.  Participants rejoin the service for the Eucharist.

On the 2nd Sunday of every month, we offer a Family Eucharist during the 9 a.m. service. Youth serve as acolytes, greeters, readers, and lay servers. Clergy offer a special Children’s Reflection.

One of the innovative aspects of our worship is our “Sermon Seminar,” which takes place at 10 a.m., immediately following 9 a.m. Holy Eucharist (which omits the sermon).  At Sermon Seminar, anyone from the congregation can offer feedback and comment on the sermon after it is preached.  Through Sermon Seminar, we as a community tell our individual and collective stories, puzzle over what we heard, and even challenge it.  It is one of the ways in which we strive to listen to each other as we study the meaning of the Biblical stories and try to apply them to our lives.

The 11:15 service includes the sermon in its usual spot in the middle of the service.

On the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, at both morning services, St. Mark’s offers the ministry of the Laying On Of Hands. During communion, we offer this ministry in the small side chapel off the Nave.  Members of the community trained in praying with and for others quietly listen to individuals’ confidential prayer requests.  Then, while lightly laying hands upon the recipient’s head, they lift up these prayers to God’s Grace.

St. Mark’s celebrates a Sunday evening service at 5 p.m.; all are warmly invited. We gather in an intimate setting where all are welcomed to be part of our contemplative worship experience. The Eucharist-centered service includes a homily balanced with various liturgical styles and musical resources. Following the service we invite all to a social hour with food and beverages.

On Thursdays at noon, we celebrate the Holy Eucharist in our recently renovated chapel, located in the southwest corner of the Nave. Please take a break from your workday to join us in contemplative prayer.

Worship in the Round

At St. Mark’s, we worship in the round. It is one of the defining aspects of our community. In the 1950s, a major transformation was made by replacing pews with moveable chairs. We continue to re-arrange chairs to this day. Our central altar is one step up from the floor; this communicates our belief and hope that God is with us, among us, in us. We don’t all profess to “know” God – for some of us, faith is as natural as breathing air; for others of our community, we have reasonable doubts. We revere the disciple, Thomas, who made his doubts known, who asked questions others may have wondered about, and who made himself vulnerable to Jesus.

What is “Open Communion”?

“Wherever you are on your faith journey, wherever you have come from and wherever you are going to, whatever you believe, whatever you do not believe, all are welcome to partake of the Lord’s meal. This is God’s meal, not ours.”

At St. Mark’s, we welcome everyone to celebrate Eucharist with us.  We believe in the inherent value of all travelers in this life journey; “open communion” reminds the parishioners and visitors that all are invited to the Lord’s table. Surrounding a central altar, all participants, regardless of whether or not they have been baptized, join together shoulder to shoulder to share the gifts of bread and wine.

Worship and the Arts at St. Mark’s

St. Mark’s endeavors to draw on the full range of experiences through which humans respond to the Mystery of God, including the use of music, dance, and the visual arts. Below is a videoclip of a performance of music and dance on Passion Sunday 2015 choreographed by Rosie Brooks of the St. Mark’s Dance Company, accompanied by original music composed by Jeff Kempske, St. Mark’s Music Director.