Whereas the honorable Continental Congress have resolved to declare the American Colonies to be free and independent states ... it will be proper to omit those petitions from the liturgy wherein the King of Great Britain is prayed for ...
Christ Church vestry minutes, July 4, 1776
Built between 1727 and 1754, Christ Church stands not only as a masterpiece of Colonial architecture, but as a reminder of the role of religious faith in the struggle for American freedom.
The 200-foot high steeple of Christ Church dominated the Philadelphia skyline in 1776, serving as a landmark for residents and travelers. Equally prominent were the church's leaders who signaled their commitment to American independence by eliminating from their service all references to the King.
Congress worshipped here as a group. Among the congregation were Revolutionary leaders Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Robert Morris. Seven signers of the Declaration of Independence are buried in the churchyard here or in the Christ Church burial ground three blocks west of here at 5th and Arch Street.
Although it is part of Independence National Historical Park, Christ Church remains independent of the Park. The church is an active congregation of the Episcopal Church in the United States, and the building continues to be used regularly for worship.