Music plays an integral role in the life and worship at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, where a rich musical tradition has been present from the church’s very beginning. Whether through participating in one of the choirs, playing an instrument, singing a hymn, or simply listening from the pews, St. Martin’s music feeds the soul of everyone it touches.
The Chancel Choir is an auditioned group of thirty-five volunteer and professional singers, which sings at the 11:15 Eucharist and monthly Evensongs. The Parish Choir is a more casual ensemble of volunteer and professional singers who sing at the 9:00 Eucharist. The Treble (kids) Choir sings at the 9:00 Eucharist, and is open to children in second through eighth grade. The Handbell Choir plays occasionally at different services. St. Martin’s tower has two sets of bells, which are rung by the Philadelphia Guild of Change Ringers.
The choirs have returned from their second choral pilgrimage as choir-in-residence at Bristol Cathedral in August 2017, including an visit to sing Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Find photos on our Facebook page and look for more about the trip to be posted here soon!
Sunday, October 1 will be our first Choral Evensong of the season. Join us every first Sunday of the month at 5 p.m. All are welcome, childcare is provided, and Evensong is followed by a small reception so you can greet our singers and meet our guest preacher. Read more about our Evensongs here.
Owls, Ogres, & Organs
The annual Owls, Ogres, & Organs concert will be held on Sunday, October 29 at 4 p.m. This is a concert for children of all ages to hear some of the spookiest music ever written played on Dracula’s instrument of choice, the pipe organ. The music is performed by music director Erik Meyer and accompanied by various Halloween cartoons. There is a costume parade with prizes, so be sure to dress up. The concert is followed by a small reception with ghoulish snacks. This is often an hilarious event that draws all sorts of bizarre creatures. Don’t miss it!
St. Martin’s Revels
St. Martin’s Parish Choir will present St. Martin’s Revels on St. Martin’s Day, Sunday, November 12 at 5:00 p.m. The Revels is a medieval pageant of song, dance, and story. Though it is usually done at Christmas time, ours will celebrate St. Martin’s Day. More information on how to take part will follow soon. In the meantime, Leni Windle can introduce you to some of the music.
Solemn High Mass
This service will feature a sung mass to celebrate the end of the liturgical year.
New this year, we’ll host a Community Carol Sing on Wednesday, December 13 at 7 p.m. after SUPPER at St. Martin’s. Bring your friends, your favorite Christmas Carols, and your voice!
The annual Carol Sing-Along returns at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 17. Bring your voice or your favorite instrument and join the pickup band for some rousing holiday cheer! A fun morning of singing your favorite Christmas songs, accompanied by a variety of musicians from the parish.
Finally, on Wednesday, December 20, at 7 p.m. we’ll hold a Messiah Sing-Along. Last December’s sing along was very popular and inspired the spring sing for Easter season. After SUPPER join us in the sanctuary and bring a copy of Messiah, and we will all sing it together and have a good time. Mistakes and not-perfect voices are very welcome.
Falling In Love with Love…and Chocolate
Celebrate an early Valentine’s day with Broadway love songs, sung by St. Martin’s singers, and delicious sweet desserts. Hear the music of Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rogers & Hammerstein. Listen to a duet by a couple of our Treble Choir Members and a group of Sweet Adelines.
Over $1,200 were raised in support of the Chancel Choir Pilgrimage to the UK this coming August.
Cathedral Choir School of Delaware
We welcome back the Cathedral Choir School of Delaware to sing the 11:15 service. This amazing choir brings children and adults from all walks of life together for the purpose of praising God and building community. http://www.ccsde.org/
Epiphany Season Evensong
Preacher: Reverend Vernell Brown, Chaplain at Germantown Home
Reverend Brown’s Chaplaincy Career has spanned 21 years. Eighteen of those years were spent serving seniors in long term care settings. Fourteen of those years Reverend Brown has served as Director of Pastoral care for NewCourtland Senior Services.
Listen to the service
Begin your Lenten observance with the beautiful sung prayers of this service. Featuring the Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis of Parker Kitterman, director of music at Christ Church, Philadelphia.
Preacher: Rev. Kathryn Aikins, Pastor of Tabernacle United Church
Listen to the service
Choral meditations on the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Featuring the Evening Service by music director Erik Meyer.
Reception to follow.
Preacher: The Rev. Peggy Jean “PJ” Craig, Executive Director, Advocate Center for Culture and Education
Listen to the service
The Seven Last Words of Christ
A worship service featuring string quartet and spoken reflections on the passion.
1. “Father, Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34 Anita Kinsley
2. “Surely, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 Lynn Buggage
3. “Woman, behold your son! Behold your mother.” John 19:26-27 Barbara Thomson Previdi
4. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 Joanne Conway
5. “I thirst” John 19:28 Ellen Doster
6. “It is finished!” John 19:30 Erik Meyer
7. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:46 Jim Rowley
Music by F. Joseph Hayden, played by the Fairmount String Quartet.
Eastertide Evensong* and Silent Auction
Celebrate Christ’s resurrection with us. The Treble Choir joins the Chancel Choir adults for our Easter season festal Evensong. Following the Evensong, we’ll have a splendid silent auction to benefit our choir pilgrimage to Bristol Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in England this August. Don’t miss this one!
Auction & Reception to follow.
Preacher: The Rev. Jennifer Mattson, Priest-in-charge of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Lancaster, PA
Trebles Sing at Cathedral Village
Our Treble Choir is using its regular rehearsal time to travel to Cathedral Village and sing for our members and their fellow residents there.
Evensong to celebrate the 1st Birthday of SUPPER at Christ Church and St. Michael’s
St. Martin’s Choir sings at our neighbors in Germantown. Come and feed your soul with music and prayer, then your belly with food!
Messiah Sing Along
Due to the overwhelming popularity of our December Messiah sing-along, we’ll host a sing-along of the Easter portion of Handel’s Messiah. Bring your score and your voice, and have a great time singing this fantastic music as a way to finish the Easter Season. Accompanied by Orchestra, with solos sung by St. Martin’s staff singers.
Evensong for the Day of Pentecost*
Our last Evensong before we depart, followed by a much-loved tailgating party in the parking lot.
Evensong at Philadelphia Cathedral
As part of our preparations for our UK pilgrimage, the choir sings an Evensong for Trinity Sunday at the Cathedral.
The Mis’rable Sinners return for our annual Bluegrass Mass at the 10:00 service. Some mighty fine banjo-picking and guitar-strumming.
The Music Staff
Erik Meyer has been the Music Director at St. Martin’s since August 2011. He holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and has performed all over the world.
St. Martin’s Cantorei are professional singers who serve as section leaders in the choirs, soloists and cantors at services, and sing together as a choral ensemble.
Jerome Brandt, soloist emeritus
Krystiane Cooper, soprano
Alyson Harvey, mezzo-soprano
Wesley Morgan, tenor
John Wentz, bass
Assisting musician Adenike Webb leads the music for worship.together, the 10:15 a.m. Sunday service for young children.
St. Martin’s choir library is managed by volunteer librarian Connie Haggard.
Choir pilgrimage to the UK, July 2014 (live)
Magnificat - Erik Meyer
Nunc Dimittis - Erik Meyer
Pilgrim’s Hymn - Paulus
Preces - Erik Meyer
Responses - Erik Meyer
Ubi Caritas - Biery
When Rooks Fly Homeward - Baynon
Evensong at Washington National Cathedral, August 26, 2012: (live)
Os Justi Meditabitur - Anton Bruckner
Magnificat in D - A. Herbert Brewer
Nunc Dimittis in D - A. Herbert Brewer
Beati Quorum Via - C. V. Stanford
Introducing our new hymnal, Lift Every Voice and Sing (LEVAS) which will supplement our current 1982 hymnal in the pews.
Why another hymnal? The Episcopal hymn tradition is much broader than one hymnal can capture. It takes a new hymnal committee years to agree on which hymns to include and exclude (otherwise it would be one hymnal in 10 volumes!)
LEVAS celebrates the African American hymn tradition. The Episcopal Church in Philadelphia was the first in the nation to ordain both African Americans and women. Absalom Jones was ordained as the first Black Episcopal priest in 1802 by Bishop William White. Born into slavery in Delaware, he was freed by his owner and purchased his wife’s freedom. The Rev. Jones went on to form the Free African Society in 1787. He established the Free African Church with Richard Allen which went on to align itself with the Episcopal Church, becoming the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, one of the first Black churches in the nation and the first Black Episcopal church.
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist
Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.
We would love to have you join us.
This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.