Ship of Fools: Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC


imageShip of Fools: Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC

The Holy Spirit brought about something very special at Pentecost in America’s cathedral

Read the full Mystery Worshipper report here


Comments

  • Hookers_TrickHookers_Trick Admin Emeritus
    But were there bendy poles? Inquiring minds...
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    edited June 11
    I don't think so. But there were colored ribbons on tall sticks that were waved in the air during the entrance procession. Immediately behind the crucifer, as I recall.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited June 12
    Way back in 2008, Dlet and a mate did a 2 month exchange to St Alban's Academy in the grounds of the Cathedral (it's one corner, the girls' equivalent diagonally opposite). We visited him and his host family, and in the course of that went to the main Sunday Eucharist at the Cathedral. It was a service that spoke deeply and movingly to us, we valued our attendance and felt welcomed (despite coming from Sydney). We were surprised by the size of the congregation, much larger than in most English Cathedrals we've attended.

    No bendy poles in sight though. My suspicion is that within 24 hours of the inauguration of the the Dean and Chapter had passed an Ordinance forever banning them from the Cathedral.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    I was surprised to learn that the cathedral had not been MWd before. I know for a fact that a Shipmate (who is no longer active, so far as I know) attended the inauguration of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church with a view toward writing a report, but she never wrote it.

    I don't expect to be in Washington again anytime soon, but I would definitely worship there again. The precision with which the service was conducted would make noses bleed!
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I was there for the main Easter service many years ago. It was wonderful! I too am surprised that it hasn’t been MWed before.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    It's also a favorite tourist attraction, as is most of Washington (well, at least the federal areas), which would go to explain the high attendance.
  • Hookers_TrickHookers_Trick Admin Emeritus
    But there were colored ribbons on tall sticks that were waved in the air during the entrance procession. Immediately behind the crucifer, as I recall.

    That's the very thing! The ribbons on the long sticks, which I think of as bendy poles.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    My bad - my recollection is that the poles at the inauguration were longer and bendier.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    I have just watched this service on you tube and was impressed with all of it. However, I was a little taken aback by the applause from the congregation that followed the Dean's excellent sermon. Is this a common feature of sermons in the US or was it an inexperienced congregation that rarely attends church? I have never before heard applause following the sermon where I live.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Yeah, I forgot to mention that in the report. I'd write it off to "an inexperienced congregation that rarely attends church." I've never before encountered a sermon that was applauded -- although I did once encounter a sermon where someone in the congregation got up and thanked the preacher afterwards.
  • Maybe the sermons where you live aren't worth applauding?
    :wink:

    But yes, it's an unusual practice - never heard it in the UK, though peeps may make appreciative comments after the service!
  • voicevoice Shipmate
    The most inspirational place. I made an annual visit from the UK just to attend the 1115 service. The Dean is incredible and his Provost Jan Cope is one of the kindest and most genuine clerics I have ever met- even going out of her way to secure me a ticket for Easter Sunday one year- the most uplifting experience of my life. The Music, blessed by the acoustics is sensational and the triumphant processional hymns, with organ and packed congregation in thunderous unison takes me somewhere nothing else in life has ever done.They lost the most brilliant organist to the priesthood a year ago and hope they have replaced him well! Sadly I have been suffering a horrible depression for more than a year and have not been able to travel. I just pray I can get myself well enough to go again- it would be great therapy and I am so pleased it is not me who thinks this House of Prayer really is for all people.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you for sharing your experiences of the cathedral, voice; sounds wonderful.

    So sorry to read of the depression. My warmest wishes that the darkness may lift for you.
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