Part VII: Fun Events at the Washington National Cathedral

 
The Annual Blessing of the Animals.  Photo Courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

The Annual Blessing of the Animals. Photo Courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

As the Photo Garden Bee I mostly cover gardens over the week but in some cases I expand to cover the places that host those gardens. In this case the host of the Bishop’s Garden highlighted this week is the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. The National Cathedral is a destination in and of itself for obvious reasons. But what many may not know is just how fun many of the Cathedral events are. Every October, for example, there is the annual Blessing of the Animals.

A day for you and your pets! Photo Courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

A day for you and your pets! Photo Courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

Such blessings are held worldwide on various dates. The Cathedral, however, holds theirs on October 4, the Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi.

What a great day to visit the Cathedral! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

What a great day to visit the Cathedral! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

St. Francis was known for his love and care for animals. The priest or other religious representative sprinkles holy water on the heads of the animals and pronounces a blessing.

For the smaller four legged members of the Family! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

For the smaller four legged members of the Family! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

What a fun day! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

What a fun day! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

A great day for Dogs! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

A great day for Dogs! Photo courtesy of the Washington National Cathedral.

Even the family ferret can take part. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

Even the family ferret can take part. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

As you can see all animals are happily accepted.

The choir sings Handel's Messiah. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

The choir sings Handel's Messiah. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

Another remarkable event is the choir’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. Composed in 1741, this oratorio continues to please audiences worldwide. This years musical extravaganza was just held last weekend under the musical direction of Michael McCarthy. If you missed this phenomenal 2 1/2 hour event mark your calendars for next year. It’s well worth the trip!

Flower Mart has flowers and more! © Karon Flage

Flower Mart has flowers and more! © Karon Flage

Also, another must do annual event is the All Hallows Guild’s Flower Mart. Held each year during the first weekend of May, the National Cathedral grounds are covered with flower vendors and flower related fun and food. The National Cathedral states on their webstie that the Flower Mart, “features plant sales, floral and horticultural displays, boutique booths, tasty foods, music and entertainment, plus fun activities for children, including rides on the antique carousel. Proceeds benefit the Cathedral’s gardens, grounds and woodlands. Free admission. Rain or shine.” Proceeds from the weekend help with the upkeep and mantainence of the Bishop’s Garden.

Rose © Britt Conley

Rose © Britt Conley

This year The Photo Garden Bee will be selling black and white flower prints at the festival.

Lastly is the rare Cathedral event. There are many of these that the public often does not get a chance to see but we have a sneak peak at what looks like one of the most amazing events held. On the cathedral’s 100th anniversary, in 2007, they held a gala in honor of Bishop Desmond Tutu.

The 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner.  Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

The 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

According to the National Cathedral, this was the only time a formal black-tie candle-lit dinner has been held in the knave of the cathedral. This must have been quite the night for everyone!

The candle-lit black tie 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner.  Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

The candle-lit black tie 100th Anniversary Gala Dinner. Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

There are events all year round at the Cathedral. One of the ones I most want to attend is the weekly tour and tea held at 1:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays most weeks. The tour begins in the nave and ends in the Observation Gallery with tea. Currently, the Angels tour being offered for December 15th and 16th the National Cathedral cites, includes looking at, “angels in the myriad ways they appear throughout the Cathedral. See angels expressed in the Cathedral arts—stained glass, needlepoint, woodcarving, and stonecarving“

The famous Tour and Tea! Photo courtesy The Washington National Cathedral.

The famous Tour and Tea! © Karon Flage.

This post doesn’t even include the variety of upcoming Religious Holiday events that are sure to be wonderful! Please stop by the Cathedral’s Events page at http://www.nationalcathedral.org/visit/calendar.shtml

And as always be sure to stop by the Washington National Cathedrals home page for more information about the Cathedral, it’s grounds and of course the Bishop’s Garden. http://www.nationalcathedral.org

Today’s post is brought to you by a tag team effort by both Britt and Erika!

Hope you enjoyed a fun look at the National Cathedral this week! Don’t forget if you know of a great Garden to go visit let me know on the “suggest a garden” page. A great garden tip is always appreciated!

‘Til Tomorrow,

Britt

Related posts:

  1. Part IV: A look at The Washington National Cathedral; home of the Bishop’s Garden.
  2. Part II: Flowers and Light? The National Cathedral embraced in light!
  3. Part I: The Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral
  4. The 71st Annual National Cathedral Flower Mart
  5. Part V: The Washington National Cathedral’s Herb Cottage Shop.

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