Music & Liturgy

The congregation of St. James the Fisherman is committed to liturgical reform, engaged preaching, and beautiful music. We worship on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am from late June through early September. The service is an Episcopal eucharist with sermon, hymns and prelude/postlude selections for piano and strings. In keeping with its liturgical history, the language of worship is inclusive and expansive, and all are welcome at God’s table.

The music accompanying the service is drawn from the classical repertoire ranging from Elizabethan to contemporary American. Our musicians, lead by James Arthur Smith and Gay Goslin Smith, enrich our worship with thoughtful selections from a wide range of composers including Purcell, Corelli, Gluck, Bach, Handel, Dvorak, Pauline Viardot (1821-1910), Amy Beach (1867-1944), and William Grant Still (1895-1978).

Congregational hymns are drawn from many sources, so that we may enjoy the breath of hymnody that enriches our Anglican tradition. These include the Hymnal 1982: Wonder, Love, and Praise; Lift Every Voice and Sing: An African American Hymnal; and Voices Found: Women in the Church’s Song.

The Chapel piano is an 1888 Steinway, the last model Steinway having only 85 keys.

Liturgy at the Chapel is integrally tied to our unique architecture. Members of the congregation are involved, as no one is further than six rows from the central altar. In worship, you look across the altar at people in the opposite bay; singing arises from all “corners” of the sanctuary. With all this in mind, the lessons and Gospel are read from the three aisles, with the pulpit placed so that the preacher speaks across the altar to the people. Every Sunday brings us together to celebrate God’s presence in our lives, to reflect on issues of social justice, and to grow in our own journey of faith.

“I had never stood in a place like this before—everyone taking part in word and action. It was as if they were the body and I was their voice and hands. The only word that came to mind was “holy”—Holy Place and Holy Event. I had never had a definition of that word that made sense to me. And here I stood engulfed in that holiness.”

~ Bishop Morgan Porteus, co-founding Clergy,
sermon at the Chapel on August 4, 2013
read full sermon

St. James the Fisherman, Our Patron Saint

The Chapel is dedicated to St. James the Greater, one of the twelve apostles. More affectionately known as St. James the Fisherman, this disciple was the brother of John the evangelist – one of the two sons of thunder. He is considered the first martyr of the Christian faith, beheaded in Rome. Because of his missionary efforts in Spain, James is the much loved patron saint of that country, as well as Chile and Nicaragua. James the Fisherman, whose symbol is a scallop shell, is also the patron saint of Wellfleet and is considered the protector and guardian of the fishing industry, anglers, laborers, pilgrims, and those who sufferer with arthritis.

The Feast of St. James

Sunday, July 31, 9:30 service followed by a lively oyster reception on the patio

Join us as the Chapel celebrates our patron saint, James the Fisherman. Like all Sundays, our feast contains elements of remembrance, thanksgiving, celebration, and forward movement.

Like James and his fellow disciples, Christ is calling us to leave our fishing nets, paddle boards, sailboats, gardens, and decks behind (once in a while) and be fishers of people who might just be looking for what the Chapel has to offer.

~ The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, Priest-in-Charge,
The Feast of St. James the Fisherman – 60th Anniversary Celebration, July 23, 2017
read full sermon

The Chapel of St. James the Fisherman
2317 US-6, Wellfleet, MA 02667
The Chapel is located on the west side of Route 6 on the hill just south of the Post Office and WHAT Theatre Company.

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