Holy Week and Easter are always special at Grace, but with the cathedral closed for the first time in a century, this year was unique. Instead of welcoming hundreds of Bay Area families and worshipers through the flower-wreathed Ghiberti Doors, we welcomed thousands of people from around the world to our reimagined, live streamed services.
Hundreds of you engaged with Grace clergy in the comments on social media and hundreds more sang out from yours homes — and there are reports that your couches are, perhaps, slightly more comfortable than church pews. And amazingly, the Alexander String Quartet, which in the past has performed Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ live at the cathedral on Good Friday, put together a remarkable performance recorded from each of the musicians’ homes (you can watch and listen here!) Through it all, we were reminded that, even in trying times, we find community and hope in our faith and in each other.
Faith lives on and online at Grace. Even as we look back on last week’s incredible moments, we look forward to new chances to connect and create memories. Today, we invite you to join the San Francisco Interfaith community for an online community prayer at 7 pm and RSVP for an online spiritual retreat hosted by members of our clergy this Saturday morning. Of course, all are welcome to join us Sunday at 11 am for our live streamed choral Eucharist service.
As we move forward together, we invite you to join next week’s Forum conversation between Dean Malcolm Clemens Young and Dean Randy Hollerith of Washington National Cathedral. The two deans will discuss how they are navigating these challenging times and will take questions from the online audience. You can also explore upcoming online Forums here and dive into the archives — last year’s conversation with Dr. Larry Brilliant, who played a key role in eliminating smallpox, is particularly relevant.
Wherever you are in the world, we thank you for being a part of the Grace community and hope you’ll continue to join us in reimagining church with courage, joy and wonder!