Welcome to St. John's Church, Lafayette Square—a vibrant historic Episcopal church located across from the White House. We invite you to join with us for worship, Christian fellowship and outreach.


From our organization as a parish in 1815 to today, St. John's Church has provided a powerful symbol of faith in the heart of our nation's capital.


At St. John's, we believe Christ is calling us to be a renewed church in a changing world. In worship, education, parish life, and social action, we seek to expand our horizons by serving God by loving one another.

Clergy, Staff, & Vestry

Meet St. John’s diverse and engaging clergy, vestry and staff.

Directions & Parking

Located at the corner of 16th and H Streets in Northwest Washington, St. John's is near the McPherson Square and Farragut North Metro stations. Limited street parking is available; free valet parking is offered for certain hours.

Monday in the Fifth Week of Lent

Sunday’s closing hymn was “Lift High the Cross,” a fitting conclusion to the final Sunday before Holy Week! It includes reminders of John 12 where Jesus sees crucifixion as the beginning of victory: “I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” It also recalls for us the ancient custom of preparing to renew our baptismal vows at Easter: “Each newborn servant of the Crucified bears on their brow the seal of him who died.”

The hymn highlights a key feature of processionals: the crucifer holds the cross high, showing the meaning of the cross as a sign of victory as well as a sign of the salvation that will draw us all to Christ.

George Kitchen (1827-1912) became Dean of Winchester Cathedral in 1883 and wrote the original version of this text in 1897 for a festival service there. For the 1916 Supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern (HAM) Michael Newbolt (1874-1956) revised the text into twelve couplets. Sydney Nicholson (1875-1947) composed the tune Crucifer to go with it. This version was later included in the 1950 edition of HAM.

Nicholson was an organist and church musician who greatly influenced English hymnody. He founded the School of English Church Music, later renamed the Royal School of Church Music, with branches throughout the English-speaking world. He also wrote a handbook on church music and a book on choirs. Nicholson was knighted in 1938 for his contributions to church worship.

Pathways Editors

Here is a grand use of the hymn arranged for congregation, choir, brass quintet, timpani, percussion, and organ by PJ Janson. It is from St. James’ Anglican Church, Vancouver, BC, for a 2017 service on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas). Notice the use of additional stanzas not in our hymnbook.

Links to the appointed readings and prayer for today:


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