Welcome to First Parish in Wayland

We are a Unitarian Universalist congregation that values community, religious freedom, and social justice. We are a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary. Our doors and our hearts are open!
To learn more about Unitarian Universalism, click here.

What’s New at First Parish?

April 2015

Celebrating and Dedicating Our New Organ: Sunday, May 3, 2015, 4:00 p.m.



The First Parish Organ, Opus 118, Andover Organ Company. Photo by Len Levasseur.

Mozart famously called the organ “the King of Instruments.”

On Sunday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m., First Parish will formally celebrate and dedicate our new King of Instruments. Join us for this special Service featuring an acclaimed guest organist who will showcase the instrument’s power and versatility.

Brian Jones, Emeritus Music Director and Organist at Trinity Church in Boston’s Copley Square, will present a program featuring a range of music written for this glorious instrument, including works by Bach, Lefebure-Wely, Reincken, and Gawthorp. A reception will follow.

Jones, one of America’s most highly regarded church musicians, has also served as Director of Music at Boston’s Old South Church and Associate Organist at Harvard University’s Memorial Church, and has performed in some of the nation’s most notable venues, including the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

First Parish Music Director and Organist Pauline Oliver oversaw the selection and installation in 2014 of the parish’s new instrument, a tracker organ custom-designed and built by Andover Organ Company in Lawrence, Mass. Called Opus 118, the instrument was designed to complement both the space and the architecture of First Parish’s historic 1815 Meetinghouse.

Andover Organ Company describes the organ’s design: “For Opus 118 we drew inspiration from the elegant cases of Thomas Appleton, Boston’s renowned Federal Period organ builder. Appleton’s cases featured a tall center tower with shorter outer towers. Between the towers were flats of pipes with top moldings rising in graceful elliptical curves to the center tower. To split this design we used two tall central towers to frame the center window.” (For further details about the organ, click here.)

PipesSplitting the organ’s pipes into two separate cases allows them to flank the Palladian window on the rear wall of the Meetinghouse, over the front door. The pipes of First Parish’s previous four organs, dating back to 1831, blocked the graceful window. (For more on the history of First Parish’s organs, click here.)

First Parish has long been known for its commitment to fine church music. Opus 118 was one result of a successful capital campaign completed in 2014. It is a testament to the congregation’s ongoing appreciation and support for excellent music.

Sunday Worship

April 26, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

“Our Song to Sing

Sermon by
Guest Preacher Matt Meyer, Musician, Community Organizer

How does the experience of music shape how we live our faith? Join us for this multi-generational service full of rhythm and song, quiet reflection, and an exploration of the holy in music.

Bells Across the Land

On April 9 about 40 people gathered to ring the First Parish bell to mark the end of America’s deadliest war. Read the details here, including the full text of remarks delivered by the Rev. Emeritus Ken Sawyer.


We are a Unitarian Universalist congregation that affirms human dignity, community action, freedom of religious thought, and the power of love.

Religious Education

Our church views religious education and spiritual development as an integral part of every person’s life, in every stage and every age, for children, youth and adults. Come learn with us as we seek to build meaningful lives.

Social Action

Our church is actively engaged in community service and social justice work throughout the region as we strive to make a positive difference in the world.