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  • Greetings,

    Welcome to the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, a community of people from all walks of life discovering the joy of knowing and following Jesus Christ. We gather on Sundays to hear the sacred stories of God’s love and to be spiritually nourished in sharing Holy Communion. Then, inspired by our fellowship, we strive to make God's love a living reality in our lives every day. At Bethesda, Sunday is the high point of the week. So, look around our web site. Then come and join us on a Sunday morning soon.

    Peace, The Rev. James Harlan, Rector

  • Every Sunday is where the life begins at Bethesda. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist with glorious liturgy and music. We also celebrate Holy Eucharist during the week and offer a healing service on Wednesdays. All baptized Christians are invited to participate in the Holy Eucharist when visiting Bethesda-by-the-Sea. It is not necessary to be a member of the Episcopal Church in order to receive Holy Communion. Persons who have not been baptized are welcome to come to the altar rail and kneel to receive a blessing. Cross your arms on your chest as a sign that you will not receive Communion. Click here for our service schedule.


  • FROM I-95

    Take the Okeechobee Blvd East exit (70). Travel East on Okeechobee Blvd to the Intracoastal Waterway. Cross over the Intracoastal Waterway, and continue going East to the second light (South County Road). Turn North (left) onto South County Road, and travel 1/2 mile. The church will be on the Right.


    Click here and scroll to Directions and Parking Information.

  • Having the faith of a child

    Children and youth bring such wonderful life and energy to our community. Bethesda offers a warm welcome to every child, whether parents prefer to bring their children into the worship service, or put them in the special children's worship (when available), or let them enjoy the nursery. We strive to create a place where even our littlest members know that God loves them, where all of us can grow in our faith, and where parents can find their own sense of peace and support.



  • God is Love

    Our worship is formal, intimate, transcendent, reflective, fun, and inspiring. As we celebrate our life together, we focus on God's love for each and every person and encourage one another to seek that loving presence of God. We have communion as an integral part of every service where we share together in a simple meal of bread and wine. While our worship may not be entirely familiar, we encourage everyone to join in as they are comfortable. Read more here.


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2017 Boar’s Head Festival

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2017 Boar’s Head Festival

Bethesda-by-the-Sea Welcomes the Public to Its January 2017 Boar’s Head & Yule Log Festival

The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach proudly welcomes the public to join in its 39th anniversary presentation of The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, held in two performances, at 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 8. The local press is invited to the Saturday parish performance at 3:30 p.m., when they are free to take non-flash photographs during the performance.

Probably one of the oldest continuing festivals of the Christmas season, the pageant’s origins date back to medieval times when the boar was considered an iconic symbol of the forest. It was hunted and served as a special dish at religious and holiday ceremonies. The Festival originated at Queen’s College, Oxford, England in 1340, and by 1607, an elaborate form of the ceremony was held at St. John’s College, Cambridge. As Christian beliefs gradually displaced paganism in Europe, the presentation of a boar’s head at Christmas feasts came to symbolize the triumph of the Christ Child over sin. The festival rites were subsequently established in America at the end of the 19th century.

Bethesda’s Boar’s Head celebration comprises an elaborate performance, with over 180 cast members of all ages, featuring elaborate period costume, scenery and decoration as well as traditional dance and song.

Denny Lanier, a longtime member of Bethesda’s Outreach Ministry and church sexton, said of the event, “Boar’s Head has been a part of my life for over 32 years—from set-up, costume storage, cooking for the cast, and actually wearing a suit of armor in the production, to ultimately playing the role of a lord of the manor.”

Applause welcome when deemed appropriate. 

No photography during the Sunday performance.


What: Bethesda’s 30th Annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival.When: Sunday, January 8, 2:00 and 4:30 p.m.

Where: The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, located at 141 South Country Road at Barton Avenue, Palm Beach (just south of The Breakers Hotel).

Tickets: Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A requested donation of $20 will be collected at the door. Click here for additional Information or call (561) 655-4554.