Pipe organs of The Mother Church

The organ of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, MA
 

Music in The Mother Church 

The Manual of The Mother Church states: “The music in The Mother Church shall . . . [be] of an appropriate religious character and of a recognized standard of musical excellence; it shall be played in a dignified and suitable manner” (p. 61). By this, it is apparent that music is an integral part of Christian Science church services and that great importance is placed on the quality of the music. All Sunday and Wednesday church services are preceded by an organ prelude and concluded with a postlude. The organ is used to accompany the congregational singing of three hymns, and, additionally, there is an offertory and a vocal solo during the Sunday services.  Music performed on instruments of superb quality and workmanship greatly enhances the artistic communication and spirituality of the music.

The organ in The Mother Church's Original Edifice

The original organs of The Mother Church (built by Farrand & Votey in the Original Edifice and Hook & Hastings in the Extension) were considered some of the finest in the country at the time they were installed more than 100 years ago. However, over the years they eventually needed to be replaced. The current organs were completed in 1952 by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston under the direction of tonal designer and organ architect Lawrence Phelps. The Extension organ, Aeolian-Skinner’s largest opus, was specifically designed to accompany the singing of a large congregation, as well as to faithfully execute a wide range of organ repertoire for church services, public concerts, broadcasts, and recordings. In addition to being a very large organ in a beautiful setting with a favorable acoustical environment, it is an extremely versatile and well-balanced instrument. It is equipped with modern combination (preset) technology, allowing the organist convenient and complete control over its vast tonal resources.

Organ specifications

Organ photos

Take a photo tour — get a behind-the-scenes look at this great organ.

Video

Fugue in E-flat Major by J.S. Bach (Prelude to the 2014 Annual Meeting)
© 2014 The Christian Science Board of Directors