2023 marks Old North Church’s 300th anniversary! To celebrate this incredible milestone, Old North Church and Old North Illuminated are hosting a series of events throughout the year. Whether you come to explore the historic site, join the congregation for worship, or tune in virtually for a Speaker Series event, your experience with Old North Church in 2023 is guaranteed to be memorable and meaningful.
Lantern Service with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
A Celebration of 300 Years
Hosted by the Old North Church Congregation and the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
April 16, 2023, 11am & 6pm
Old North Church, together with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, will commemorate Old North’s 300th anniversary with celebratory services marking its founding in 1723 and role in American history. Our guest speaker and honoree is the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. Bishop Curry will be the preacher at the 11am Festival Choral Eucharist. All are invited to join the Old North congregation for this service, which will also be live-streamed for a virtual audience.
At 6 pm, Bishop Curry will be the honored guest speaker at the ticketed Lantern Service that promises to be a stirring and inspirational evening of song and rededication, culminating in the lighting of Old North’s steeple lanterns as a witness to the city and nation in honor of the events of April 18, 1775, on the eve of the American Revolution. Join us as we celebrate 300 years and commit ourselves anew to shining beacons of light, justice, and love.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. Widely regarded as one of the most dynamic preachers of our time, he serves as The Episcopal Church’s chief pastor, spokesperson, and president and chief executive officer. Throughout his ministry, Bishop Curry has been a prophetic leader, particularly in the areas of racial reconciliation, climate change, evangelism, immigration policy, and marriage equality. Bishop Curry is the author of five books and a regular guest on national and international media outlets. The animating vision and message of his ministry is Jesus of Nazareth and his way of radical, sacrificial love. He regularly reminds Episcopalians they are “the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”
Lanterns & Luminaries with Annette Gordon-Reed
Spark Change, Make History
Hosted by Old North Illuminated
April 20, 2023
6pm – Reception for Sponsors
7pm – Lanterns & Luminaries Program
8pm – Celebration and Lantern Lighting
Lanterns & Luminaries (formerly known as the Lantern Ceremony) invites friends and supporters to come together at the historic Old North Church for a special evening of commemoration, inspiration, and celebration. Guests are greeted with a colonial fife and drum corps followed by a spirited performance of the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” the Third Lantern Award keynote address by Annette Gordon-Reed, and a lively reception with lantern signals lighting up the sky.
Annette Gordon-Reed is the author of six books including Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy and The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. She is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the MacArthur “Genius Award.”
Old North Illuminated, formerly the Old North Foundation, is a secular 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to inspire active citizenship and courageous, compassionate leadership by interpreting and preserving the Old North Church & Historic Site. Lanterns & Luminaries is our signature annual fundraiser. Your support allows us to preserve and protect this iconic landmark, and to develop educational programs that engage a wide range of audiences in the fundamental question of what it means to be informed and active in your community.
Digital Speaker Series
Throughout the year, Old North Illuminated hosts authors, professors, and other experts on Zoom for Digital Speaker Series events. To mark the 300th anniversary of Old North as a faith community and church, this year’s Digital Speaker Series will include talks that touch on the ways that religion has shaped history and look at how religious practice has reflected the changing times — and changing community. We hope you’ll join us. See our upcoming events!