Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Our musicians are keeping their skills up while we all shelter in place by learning new music! Today, we’re sharing another piece that Christopher Keady, our Assistant Director of Music, has learned during this time at home.

He says, “I’m going to play for you a piece by Francis Poulenc, a 20th century French composer. We often sing his four motets at Grace Cathedral. He wrote in many different forms, but you can often detect a little bit of irony as well as a lot of romanticism in his music, and you can even detect those two things in this short piece. This is his ‘Novelette in C Major.’” Enjoy Christopher’s playing, and share it with someone you think could use some music to brighten their life right now.

Join us on Thursdays at 5:15pm for Choral Evensong, and hear music on the instrument Christopher usually plays, our remarkable Aeolian-Skinner organ.


Every Earth Day gives us an opportunity to remember that we are called to care for God’s creation, and are deeply dependent on its well-being. Today, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, that remains as true as ever. Indeed, in the age of COVID-19, humanity’s impact on and relationship with the natural world have never been more apparent.  

Grace Cathedral has long advocated for climate justice and for protecting our environment. In recent years, we have used both art and activism to highlight our commitment to a healthier planetIn 2018, the cathedral’s Year of Truth, we hosted Sukey Bryan as our Artist in Residence. Bryan focused on telling the truth about climate change through painting and visual art 

Earlier, in 2017, Bryan had created Sky Steps to celebrate Easter and Earth Day at the cathedral. This work of art draped the Great Steps in sky and cloud, greatly impacting our visitors. Images were widely shared on social media and The Economist magazine even seized upon it to illustrate an article about faith, climate change and the upcoming Global Climate Action Summit. 

Sukey’s Earth Window hung on the cathedral’s façade during the Global Climate Action Summit that took place in San Francisco in September 2018. Grace welcomed thousands of guests and ambassadors from all faiths for the opening interfaith service of the three day international conference.

While the current health crisis prevents us from gathering in person this year, the climate crisis still demands our prayers and action. So we still observe Earth Day and renew our commitment to car for creation. Today at 5 p.m., we invite you to join us in prayer and reflection at The Vine. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus, bishop of the Diocese of California and a leading Episcopal voice for climate justicewill preach on the connection between our spiritual beliefs and creation care 

Wherever you are this Earth Day, we hope you are happy, healthy and safe. 

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 aonline 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! 

Even during this time of great challenge, love, peace, hope and the arts live on at Grace. We’re sharing beautiful moments from our archives to remind us of the strength and joy in our community. 

As we begin a new month, the world feels full of fear and uncertainty. COVID-19 might be new, but the problems it presents us with are not. Context is key and it can give us the hope and understanding we need to navigate the weeks ahead.  

Last March, we hosted Dr. Larry Brilliant at The Forum. Our aptly named guest played a key role in eradicating smallpox – a pandemic disease that killed 300 million people in the 20th century alone. He is also the co-founder of one of the first digital social networks, The Well, and currently the chair of the organization Ending Pandemics. 

In his March 10, 2019 conversation with Dean Malcolm Clemens Young, Brilliant reflected on the nature of pandemics and the challenges in fighting past and future diseases. He also shared a message of unity and hope, explaining that “in order to eradicate the worst disease in human history, it took not just a village. It took a planet.” 

Dr. Brilliant also reminds that “you can’t conquer any global disease without everybody on the globe working together.” So, while we maintain safe physical distances, there are still other ways we can come together to build community and battle this disease.  

As always, we invite you to stay connected with Grace through our online events, blog and social media and especially our online Holy Week services, beginning with a live streamed Palm Sunday service this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. We’ll also be hosting our first ever online Forum with African playwright Awoye Timpo, who will discuss issues of beauty and self-worth that face teenage girls across the globe, on Wednesday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m. 

You can listen to the entire conversation between Dean Malcom and Dr. Larry Brilliant here and explore all our past Forums here. 

Thanks for sheltering at home and stay safe.  

Even during this time of great challenge, love, peace, hope and the arts live on at Grace. We’re sharing beautiful moments from our archives to remind us of the strength and joy in our community.

Major League Baseball’s Opening Day was scheduled for last week. Like so many other things in our lives, it’s been put on hold while we tend to greater needs. Yet that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sights and sounds of the ballpark until baseball and the San Francisco Giants return.

Every year towards the end of the regular season and the beginning of the school year, Grace’s Choir of Men and Boys travels down to Oracle Park (or AT&T Park in years past) to perform the National Anthem. In some years, the Choir’s stirring rendition is a great way to cap off the season. In others, it’s a great way to start off a classic Giants post-season run! After every performance, the choristers and their families settle in to enjoy the game.

You can enjoy their performances from back in 2016 here and 2012 (a World Series-winning year) here!

As always, we invite you to stay connected with Grace through our online events, blog and social media.


Even during this time of great challenge, love, peace, hope and the arts live on at Grace. We’re sharing beautiful moments from our archives to remind us of the strength and joy in our community.

On April 25, 2018, almost a thousand people from the Grace and San Francisco communities came together at the first ever Beyoncé Mass – a worship service that uses the music of Beyoncé to foster an empowering conversation about the struggles of Black women and other marginalized groups.

We sang, we danced, we celebrated each other, our differences, our struggles and our community. We heard a message of resistance, empowerment and hope from Rev. Yolanda Norton and learned what it means to be a survivor of injustice.

Two years later, Beyoncé Mass is still going strong. The service has spread its message of hope across the country and around the world, traveling to New York City and even Lisbon, Portugal. Earlier this year, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. hosted a service and Spelman College in Georgia kicked off its celebration of Women’s Herstory Month with a Beyoncé Mass.

Right here at Grace, the legacy of Beyoncé Mass lives on. We’ve continued to reimagine church with courage joy and wonder – innovating and creating uplifting services at The Vine, including our beloved Sister Act Sing-along Pride Masses held these past two Junes. These days, you can join us online for live streamed Thursday Evensongs and Sunday morning services.

You can watch videos and see pictures from the 2018 Beyoncé Mass below.

With the cathedral closed and San Francisco focused on community health, we have a unique opportunity to experience community, faith and one another in new ways. We invite you to stay connected with Grace through our online events, blog and social media.

Listen to a portion of Rev. Norton’s sermon

See photos from Beyoncé Mass


The Winter 2020 issue of Grace Notes, our seasonal publication that lets you know about all the exciting events going on at the cathedral, is now available! Read the new edition online.

The holidays are a magical time at Grace Cathedral. From our beloved A Cathedral Christmas concert series with our Choir of Men and Boys to our Sing You a Merry Christmas family shows, there’s something for everyone. Our beautiful Christmas Eve and Day services are also a beloved tradition and are open to all!

The San Francisco Chronicle recently wrote a story on our incredible new art installation Grace Light. You can read the piece here and learn more about the installation’s background and upcoming 2020 viewings.

Grace Cathedral welcomes the Rainbow World Fund (RWF) World Tree of Hope for the holidays. We officially lit the tree and celebrated the holidays at a ceremony on Tuesday December 10.

KCBS Radio did a segment covering the lighting ceremony. You can listen here.

The World Tree of Hope will be on view through January 10, 2020. 

The RWF World Tree of Hope is a gift to the San Francisco Bay Area and the world from the LGBT community. It is the largest annual origami-decorated holiday tree in the world, with more than 17,000 origami cranes and stars. Wishes are sent in from around the world by mail and online at The wishes are then printed and folded into origami cranes by a diverse team of volunteers.

In the sixth and final episode of the first season, Our Podcaster-in-Residence Catherine Girardeau explores movement, walking and stillness with our Artist-in-Residence Alonzo King. Above the Fog is available here or wherever you get your podcasts.

The fifth and penultimate episode of the first season of our new podcast, Above the Fog, is out and available here or wherever you get your podcasts. In this episode, Learning to Walk, our podcaster-in-residence Catherine Girardeau explores the origins of human walking and walking with disabilities.