Church of the Holy Trinity is an Episcopal church on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. The first service in the church building, designed by Scottish architect John Notman, was held on March 27, 1859. The corner tower was added in 1867 and was designed by George W. Hewitt of the firm of Fraser, Furness & Hewitt. It is designed in the simpler "low church" style, rather than the fancier "high church" or Anglo-Catholic style of Notman's nearby St. Marks Episcopal Church.
The church's rector from 1862 to 1869 was Phillips Brooks, probably most famous as the author of the lyrics to the familiar Christmas carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem". Renowned for his ebullient homilies and his staunch opposition to slavery, Brooks delivered a eulogy to Abraham Lincoln in the church on April 23, 1865, following the U.S. President's assassination on April 14. This sermon was reprinted and widely read. After the end of the American Civil War, Brooks took a sabbatical from the church to travel to Europe, Israel and Palestine. His visit to Bethlehem inspired him to write a poem for his Sunday School students, and for the church's 1868 Christmas season he had church organist Louis Redner set the poem to music. The result was “O Little Town of Bethlehem."
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