Sunday, August 23, 2009

70. Church of the Epiphany

(mass times & church info last updated 03/09/2016)
Address: 239 E. 21st St.
Phone: 212.475.1966
Weekend Mass Times: 
Sat: 4pm (English)
Sun: 8am (English), 10am (English / Family Mass), 12pm (English / Adult Choir), 7:30pm (English / Adult Contemporary)
Weekday Mass Times: 
M-F: 8am, 12:10pm (both English)
Sat: 8am (English)
Confession: Sat: 3pm-4pm, and by appt.
Every Wed: Following the OLPH Novena
First Monday: After the 8am Mass
First Saturday: 3pm
Exposition: Sat: 3-3:45pm
Miraculous Medal Novena: Monday after each daily Mass
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena: Wednesdays after 12:10pm Mass
Constructed: 1967
Official Website
Greenwich Times article about the church
Article About the Church's Consecration: NY Times 1887
About the Organ
The Epiphany

After a bit of a summer break - palate cleanser if you will - I am back in the city, heading back out into it, constant thoughts fighting each other and rattling around in my big stupid head, yet I am mostly at a loss of where to begin, what to write down.

There is so much to write, but perhaps, this time, it is best to be direct, exact, and save some of the heavier mumbo-jumbo (self absorbed hogwash!) for another entry to come.

"What can God do for us?"

The priest asked the congregation this question at Epiphany Church this week. I attended the 4pm Mass (such a convenient Mass to have in the middle of a Sunday! Late enough to do your Sunday morning thing, but not too late,) and was slightly distracted throughout the experience: for one thing I had stayed out quite late last night for a friend's last night in town - she's off to Divinity school, a place I often wonder if I should end up - and my head was fuzzy because of little good sleep and the way the night ended - a long story for another or never time. In addition to this, I was seated next to a child and his parents and the mother was so rough and manic in her disciplining (unwarranted, unkind, unknowing methods) that I just couldn't truly focus on the celebration happening on the altar.

I kind of floated through the Mass, not wholly present - unfortunately, because I found Church of the Epiphany to be a gorgeous modern church, constructed of a beautiful ashen gray brick, the design outstanding, reminiscent of St. John the Evangelist to me for some reason, perhaps because it is another modern east side church. The parish has been around since the 19th century, but (I learned from one of the links above,) a five-alarm fire destroyed the original building in 1963; this new building was completed in 1967.

The priest was terrific. He was African. He sang the Gospel, in a soft sweet off key, and his message was good.

The general meaning of the answer to his stated question can be found in the readings of the day when one questions themselves and therefore the answer is the same and yet different for each of us. Part of it for me, when I think upon it, at this point in my journey: everything imaginable.


  1. Also (and perhaps instead) do you know of a church in NYC that will be doing a Latin mass at midnight on Christmas?

  2. I'd try Church of Our Savior, but not sure. You could call them and ask...

  3. I was there the night of the fire in 1963, a few days before Christmas. The stained glass of Mary and the baby Jesus above was restored from the old church into the new church.

  4. Was the Church destroyed in 1963 and rebuilt to this new location? I was Baptized at The Church of the Epiphany 375 Second Avenue, NYC on the 24 of September 1963. But this Church of the same name says constructed in 1967 and has a new address of 239 E. 21st St.NYC. Where there Two Churches of the Epiphany in Manhattan?

  5. It is the same church. The original church and its main entrances fronting 2nd Avenue. The replacement church on the same site has its entrance facing 21st Street.

  6. Tonight is the fiftieth anniversary of this fire, which I remember vividly. I was baptized at the old Epiphany...first First Communion class in the new one Thanks for your posting.