March 17, 2020

Dear friends,

As you may have heard, following new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bishop Budde has extended the closure order for all churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

That means all operations at the Cathedral will remain suspended for the next two months, including Holy Week and Easter. Though disappointed that we will not be able to gather together in person, we will continue to gather together online throughout this holy time of year.

Our Cathedral team is working around the clock to transition our ministries online, and we hope to have some exciting new features and offerings to share with you later this week. Please know that even though you may not be able to come to the Cathedral, we are fully committed to find new ways to bring the Cathedral directly to you.

We will be gathering virtually on Sundays and throughout the week. Last Sunday, some 25,000 people around the world tuned in to our first online-only Eucharist, and it’s since been viewed by more than 125,000 people. This is our moment for the Cathedral to serve the entire nation, and to be a beacon of hope and comfort for a hurting world.

As Americans, as Christians and as families, we are all trying to find our way through this situation and all the disruption that comes with it. I know the anxiety and worry are there; I feel it, too.

Yet the wonder of the Christian faith is that we worship a God who became one of us and who knows what it means to feel the full spectrum of human emotions. We can take comfort that we walk with a Savior who will guide our steps and accompany us in this new terrain together, even if the road ahead may not always be easy to see. All around us, the wondrous birth of spring reminds us that new life abounds.

As I told our staff this morning, in those moments when the stress threatens to overwhelm us I try to remember the way God has blessed me. We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, the support of each other, and the refreshing beauty of God’s creation. I encourage each of you to find ways to remember God’s goodness, and then to find ways to share that grace with those around us who are most in need.

This is a time when the most important thing we can do is to draw closer to God, and to find new ways to reach out to each other. You are in my heart, and in my prayers.


The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith
Dean, Washington National Cathedral