Recently I was asked to comment on something about our parish that I find noteworthy... what I find most special about All Saints is one word: silence.

Recently I was asked to comment on something about our parish that I find noteworthy. As the parish organist, I didn’t think it would be very creative of me to mention our pipe organs. Certainly I could have mentioned our choir, which is unique in the city of Boston. Another obvious answer could have been our church building, now beautifully restored, and with much improved acoustics. And, after years of using this space to encourage and cajole the parish into hearty participation, I could have mentioned the lusty congregational singing. Beautiful liturgy and thoughtful preaching both flourish here as well. The loving community that gathers each week for worship is also highly unusual in terms of demographics. All these are wonderful and unusual aspects of our life together at All Saints, for which I give thanks to God on a daily basis.

All of the above may be true, and yet what I find most special about All Saints is one word: silence.

Silence makes most modern Americans very uncomfortable. We fill our cars with talk radio or music; we fill our living rooms with noise from the television; we walk around town with headphones jammed into our ears; we blast pre-recorded sound (I won’t call it “music”) into nearly all of our public spaces: coffee shops, pharmacies, grocery stores, shopping malls, amusement parks, bars, restaurants. Even when we are not subjected to noise of all kinds, we voluntarily pollute our own minds with our own busy thoughts, shutting out silence from every aspect of our life.

And yet, Scripture tells “God is in his holy temple; let the whole earth keep silence before him.” The Hymnal asks us to “Let all mortal flesh keep silence,” and we know from the Elijah story that God does not speak in the earthquake, in the wind, or in the fire, but in the still small voice. Silence is the space into which God speaks. If we don’t make room for silence, I would argue we are not making room for God.

Each Sunday morning, when I walk into the church to begin playing the opening organ voluntary, I am struck by the impact of the silence that is kept here at All Saints. As our parish continues to grow, let us cherish this gift of silence and bestow it on all those who walk through our doors. We should ensure that our comfort with silence be not confused with unfriendliness or a lack of hospitality. Let me also take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the parish for continuing to refrain from applause at the conclusion of the closing voluntary. Silence is golden. Silence points to God.

Upcoming

Service Times

Sundays

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Low Mass
9:00 a.m. Adult Christian Education*
10:00 a.m. Solemn Mass
11:30 a.m. Coffee Hour

* during the academic year

Weekdays

Low Mass
Wednesday 10 a.m. *
Friday 7 a.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.

* followed by coffee hour

 

Location and Parking

209 Ashmont Street
Dorchester MA 02124
(617) 436-6370

Map

All Saints is located in the south Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, just off Peabody Square, at 209 Ashmont St. and is a very short walk from the Ashmont T station on the Red Line. (Click icon for map.)

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The five principal levels of our buildings are handicap accessible, served by a five-stop elevator. Handicap access into both buildings is by a walkway and ADA-compliant ramp from the parking lot to the Ashmont Street door of the church.  There are handicap accessible bathrooms on four levels of the church and parish house.

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There is a private parking lot for 47 cars and on-street parking on both Ashmont Street and on the other streets surrounding the church.

Four of these spaces are reserved for Zipcars.

Parish of All Saints, Ashmont

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Our emphasis at the Parish of All Saints is on sacramental worship (the Mass or Holy Eucharist) celebrated in a traditional Anglo-Catholic style, with strong orthodox teaching and preaching, supportive pastoral care, a caring parish family, and responsibility to our community and the greater world.

 
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