Followers of the Spiritualist faith believe that the soul continues to exist after the death of the body and that believers can communicate with the dead. Spiritualists believe that the deceased can continue to grow and evolve in the afterlife, and as such we can learn a lot from communicating with them.
In a quiet corner of Georgetown in Washington, D.C. you’ll find a Spiritualist house of worship, the Church of Two Worlds, referring of course to the spirit world and our Earthly realm. Housed in a former Methodist church building, it is the oldest Spiritualist church in the district, dating back to 1906.
The first thing you notice about the Church of Two Worlds are the stained glass windows. Coupled with the tan brick exterior and lofty wooden doors, it looks like your typical local church. But the Church of Two Worlds is far from typical.
Spiritualism reached its peak between the 1840s to the 1920s, reaching some 8 million followers at its height, mostly from the upper class. Today it is considerably more niche: Though the front doors of the Church of Two Worlds lead to a grand, spacious hall, the small audience means meetings are often held in a smaller room in the back.
Church attendees receive a book of Spiritualist hymnals which are read from throughout the service. The church also offers healings, a type of Spiritualist ritual, group meditation, and literature on how to build your own private altar at home. Spiritualists believe in the power of their faith to cure diseases and will gladly share advice with visitors. Though it is far from a requirement, attendees sometimes recite mantras and reach out to spirits during a visit to church.
Know Before You Go
The Church is open from 2:30 to 4:00 PM on Wednesdays and Sundays. Upon entering, the church may seem empty, but lectures are often delivered in a back room to the right of the altar.