2019 National Acolyte and Fall Festival
Saturday, October 12
Come one, come all! Join us for one of the most joyful occasions of the Cathedral year as acolytes, vergers, servers, and clergy from across the United States gather for a festival Holy Eucharist with re-dedication of service and an afternoon of food and fun!
- Begin the day with a service of Holy Eucharist (10 am) and bring your processional crosses, banners, torches, thuribles, flags, and streamers for festival procession
- Stay for an afternoon full of workshops, special behind-the-scenes tours, vendors, food, and games
- Reserve your place today!
- 2019 Registration Fee: $10 per acolyte
- The required registration fee applies only to acolytes. Clergy, vergers, friends and family are welcome to attend at no charge and the service is open to the public.
For questions about registration, please call (202) 537-2228. If your group is arriving by bus, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make a parking reservation.
Deadline: September 26 to be included in the printed program.
Schedule & Details
The Grandest of Processions
Acolytes, servers, clergy, and vergers from across the country join in the longest and most colorful procession imaginable. Carry your crosses, torches, banners, thuribles, Gospel Books, and other appointments from the Great West Doors and down the center aisle of the sixth-largest Cathedral in the world! We then gather around Christ’s table in a festival Holy Eucharist.
Enjoy a picnic lunch on the Cathedral’s beautiful grounds. Pack your own, or purchase from a variety of food trucks and vendors featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, sandwiches, quesadillas, funnel cakes, ice cream, and more.
A Festive Afternoon
11:30 am–5:00 pm
The West Lawn plays host to the Cathedral’s annual Fall Festival. Enjoy the autumn weather as you browse our vendors’ selections of jewelry, church goods, knitwear, ornaments and more! Vendors and exhibitors include Almy, Forward Movement, and the Order of Saint Vincent.
Enjoy and impromptu performances throughout the afternoon. A wide-ranging array of talented singers, musicians, and choral groups. perform on the Cathedral’s front steps.
Workshops & Demonstrations
12:00 pm–2:00 pm
- Holy Smoke: The Ministry of the Thurifer
A workshop showcasing the special ministry of the thurifer. Includes review of equipment, technique, and the history of the use of incense in worship.
- Liturgical Kite-making
A fun hands-on workshop during which participants will make their own liturgical kites.
- Jubilation Streamers
Let your colors fly! Learn how to use jubilation streamers and watch them soar through the Cathedral’s lofty spaces.
- Herding Cats: The History and Work of the Verger
Go behind the scenes of the service and learn everything you ever wanted to know about the history and work of vergers. Cathedral vergers explain their secrets.
12:30 pm–2:30 pm
Acolytes, vergers, and servers are all invited to compete for medals and other prizes in the Acolyte Olympics — a series of competitions including Pass the Cruet, the Hole-y Water Bucket Challenge, and the festival favorite, the Thuri-ball Races!
12:30 pm–5:00 pm
Discover the story and beauty of the Cathedral, its sculpture, woodwork, and stained glass through offerings by the Cathedral docents.
2018 Festival Gallery