Saturday, May 16, 2015

Society Saturday - the National Cathedral

Every year, the members of DFPA have a post-General Court tour.  This year, we visited the National Cathedral.

Our tour guide Lenelle was very knowledgeable, and seemed glad to be giving a tour to a group other than school children.

We learned that:

The National Cathedral is the 6th largest Cathedral in the World.  The vaulted ceiling is 100 feet high, and the main hallway is a tenth of a mile long.  It is built on Mt. St. Alban's, the highest point in the District.

It is the Nation's place to celebrate and to mourn.  The prayer service following Obama's inauguration was here, and four state funerals were held here.  Woodrow Wilson lies buried in the Cathedral.

The large Rose window over the main entrance contains over 10,000 pieces of stained glass.  While there was damage to the stone structure during the earthquake in 2011, none of the windows was damaged.

The most famous stained glass window is the "Space Window", built in 1969.  It actually has a moon rock placed in the center of it.  

The Canterbury pulpit has numerous carved detailed figures depicting the translation of the Bible into English.  It has been used by Billy Graham, Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Martin Luther King's last Sunday sermon before his assassination.

Most of the stone carvings on the reordas' were done in situ.  There are 10,600 organ pipes over the choir gallery.

St. Mary's chapel has painted wood carvings and several 400 year old Flemish tapestry hangings.

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