General News

Lent at Fifth Avenue

Join us for 40 days of contemplation, prayer and preparation for Holy Week and Easter.

This Lent, in addition to Ash Wednesday, Sunday and Holy Week services, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church offers weekly classes in Christian spiritual practice, a series on female mystics, two performances of the Lenten concert, and a profound, dual exhibition of the Stations of the Cross. Read more about the upcoming sermon series, education events and other resources that are available to you in this holy season.

Searching for an Authentic Life

Humans have been worrying about who we are and where we are going for a long time. Our faith offers resources for anyone who wants to look deeply into these questions. That is the focus of this year’s Lenten sermon series, Searching for an Authentic Life.

Beginning on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 26), the pastors of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church will consider exactly what makes for an “authentic” life. Each time we gather for worship, we will start with basic, but crucially important questions. Questions like, “Who am I?” “Where am I going?” and “What story am I in?” Each week we will tee up a music video to get you thinking about one of these questions of the soul. And then we will consider what philosophers, psychologists and scholars—not to mention Scripture—have to say on the subject.

You will find details on each week of this 10-part series on our worship calendar.

Daily Devotionals

Once again, the pastors, officers and staff of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church have compiled a collection of daily Scripture, spiritual reflection and prayer for each of the 40 days of Lent. The 2020 Lenten Devotional will be available at the church on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 26), or you may download it here. Each day’s devotional also will be posted online.

Or you may elect to receive these daily messages in your inbox. Simply complete and submit the sign-up form, and your first devotional will arrive on Ash Wednesday.

Allegri’s Miserere + Verdi’s Requiem

Starting on the First Sunday of Lent, we invite you to make sacred music part of your Lenten experience.

On Sunday, March 1, our Lunch + Listen series offers a full performance of Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere. This haunting setting of Psalm 51 was long restricted to the Sistine Chapel. You can experience it right here, in Kirkland Chapel. We’ll gather shortly after the 11 am service for this performance by members of the Fifth Avenue Chamber Choir.

On Tuesday, March 17, our series of Lenten spiritual classes offers the Spirituality of Chanting. Ryan Jackson, director of Music and Fine Arts Ministries, teaches this ancient practice as a means of enhancing our experience of the Divine.

Then on Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3—just before Holy Week—the Shelest Piano Duo joins the Fifth Avenue Chamber Choir for a performance of Verdi’s Requiem for piano four-hands. Tickets (starting at $15) are available at the church for several Sundays before the performance, and online at

Two Roads to Calvary

On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Arts & Our Faith Committee unveils its Lenten exhibition, Two Roads to Calvary, featuring the Stations of Cross as depicted by two New York City artists—Fifth Avenue member Laura Fissinger, and Laura James, whose paintings Sermon on the Mount and Creation are part of the church’s permanent collection.

The Stations of the Cross depict 14 milestones on Jesus’ walk to Calvary. They begin with his condemnation to death and end with his body laid in the tomb. Christians (particularly in the Catholic and Anglican traditions) have made praying the stations part of their Lenten liturgical practice since the 15th century.

This unique, dual exhibition will be on view in the Chesnut Gallery through Easter. The artists will be on hand for an opening-day reception following the 11 am service on Feb. 23. Read about how each artist approached her project here. The Stations of the Cross will be part of our Tuesday evening series on spiritual practices on March 3.

Spiritual Practices

For the second consecutive year, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church offers weekly workshops on an array of Christian spiritual practices. Beginning on March 3, these Tuesday evening sessions will address sacred chant, the Stations of the Cross, fasting and feasting, and more. Take a look at the full schedule, and plan to join us. All sessions are free and open to all.

CREDO: Christian Female Mystics

Our popular Adult Education series, CREDO: Essential of Christian Theology, returns for a rare Lenten run. This year the pastors will consider the lives and teachings of four Christian female mystics—Hildegarde of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Ávila and Thérèse of Lisieux.

Our subjects span eight centuries of Christian history. Our classes span four weeks, beginning on Sunday, March 8. See the full listing, and join us for this free educational series.