The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia


Thursday School Mass

Our Thursday mass is our weekly school Mass. All are welcome to join our school community for worship. The Thursday Mass follows the previous Sunday readings. 

Upper School Mass: 11:00 am
Lower School Mass: 1:00 pm

Sunday Mass

Sunday’s Mass is a community Mass, made of primarily neighbors and other friends.


Followed by Community Dinner and The Welcome Table

What Mass is and Who Mass is for: 

Wherever you are on your journey of faith, the Church of St. James the Less at St. James School is a community inviting you into dialogue and worship. The style and content of the services at St. James are shaped by the ancient experience of the church and by the present realities of the world and our Community. The Mass, or Holy Eucharist, has been the principal act of Christian worship, in some form or another, since the days of the early church when the apostles followed Jesus’ instructions to break bread and share wine in remembrance of him. And so this service of giving praise and thanks to God is at the very center of our common life at St. James.

In the Mass we are invited into the mystery of God: that God came to humanity in human form to live and die for the salvation of the world and that God continues to abide with us to enable, empower, and enliven us in the work of building up God’s kingdom. When we bring offerings of praise and thanksgiving to Mass – in prayer and song, bread and wine, in our gifts of money, food, clothing, etc. – we pray that God strengthens us to follow the most basic commandment: to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We still observe many ancient and medieval customs as we conduct the ceremonies of the church. Although the liturgies are full of words, they are also made up of actions. Sometimes these ceremonial actions reinforce what we are saying, and sometimes they speak for themselves, saying things for which we have no words. Words and actions are both symbolic – representing our offering of ourselves, our lives and our faith to God.

Getting Involved:

  • Community Choir 
  • Assisting at Mass (reading, altar guild) 
  • Community Dinner 

For details and information, please contact The Rev. Andrew Kellner, School & Neighborhood Chaplain.

Who is St. James the Less?

Also known as Jacobus Minor, James the Just, James the Less, James the Younger, James, son of Alphæus, James, the brother of the Lord Cousin of Jesus. Brother of Saint Jude Thaddeus.

Raised in a Jewish home of the time with all the training in Scripture and Law that was part of that life. Convert. One of the Twelve Apostles. One of the first to have visions of the risen Christ. First Bishop of Jerusalem. Met with Saint Paul the Apostle to work out Paul’s plans for evangelization. Supported the position that Gentile converts did not have to obey all Jewish religious law, though he continued to observe it himself as part of his heritage, may have been a vegetarian. A just and apostolic man known for his prayer life and devotion to the poor. Martyr.

Having been beaten to death, a club almost immediately became his symbol. This led to his patronage of fullers and pharmacists, both of whom use clubs in their professions. He is reported to have spent so much time in prayer that his knees thickened, and looked like a camel’s. Soon after the Crucifixion, James said he would fast until Christ returned; the resurrected Jesus appeared to him, and fixed a meal for James Himself.

Died martyred c.62 at Jerusalem by being thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, then stoned and beaten with clubs, including fuller’s mallets, while praying for his attackers.