Join us throughout the season for Sunday worship as well as an array of special services, music & programs.

February 20, 2020
Concert: Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ
featuring Cathedra and Diderot String Quartet

7:30 pm (Great Choir)

As we prepare for the journey through Lent to the cross at Calvary, experience the last words of Christ set to the soul-stirring music of Franz Joseph Haydn, brought to new life by the Diderot String Quartet and the voices of Cathedra. From “My God, why have you forsaken me? to “Father, Forgive them” to “It is finished,” Jesus’ final words before his death will prepare your heart for spiritual transformation in the 40-day voyage to Easter.

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Ash Wednesday: The First Day of Lent  •  February 26, 2020
Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes

•  7:30 am (Bethlehem Chapel)
•  12 pm (Nave + live webcast)
•  7 pm (Nave + live webcast)

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent, a time of fasting, prayer, self-examination and preparation for the Easter Feast.  Join as for one of three services this day. Incense will be used at the 7 pm service. Passes are not required.

Clergy will be available for the Rite of Reconciliation (Confession) throughout the day.


Select Wednesdays in Lent •  March 11, 18, and 25, 2020
Lenten Candlelight Compline

8:15 pm (Great Choir on March 11 and 18; Resurrection Chapel on March 25)

“Eternal Spirit, flow through our being and open our lips, that our mouths may proclaim your praise.”

During this holy season, all are welcome to join us for candlelight Compline service with spoken prayers and contemplative music that fills the heights of the Great Choir. As the shadows lengthen and the busy world is hushed, we turn inward and deepen our relationship with God.


Palm Sunday  •  April 5, 2020
Holy Eucharist with Liturgy and Procession of Palms

•  8 am (outside at North Porch, then Nave + live webcast)
•  11:15 am (outside at North Porch, then Nave + live webcast)

Through grand processions, dramatic readings of Scripture and music offered by the Cathedral Choir, we experience the journey from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem through his betrayal, persecution and death. These services are identical and passes are not required. Incense will be used. American Sign Language Interpretation available.

The congregation is invited to gather outside at the North Porch for the blessing and procession of the palms. The remainder of the service will take place inside the Cathedral. 


Palm Sunday  •  April 5, 2020
Concert: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion
with Washington National Cathedral Choir and Baroque Orchestra

4 pm (Nave)

Regarded as one of Bach’s masterpieces, the St. Matthew Passion tells the story of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Performed on Palm Sunday, commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and his journey to the cross, we invite you into the sacred space of the Cathedral for a musical and spiritual experience unlike any other. This presentation features acclaimed tenor Rufus Muller in the role of the Evangelist, alongside the Cathedral Choir and Baroque orchestra.

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Tuesday in Holy Week  •  April 7, 2020
Holy Eucharist with Renewal of Vows and Blessing of Chrism

Noon (Nave + live webcast)

The clergy and laity of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington gather to reaffirm their vows and observe the consecration of sacramental oil. All are welcome to attend this service of Holy Eucharist, which takes the place of our regular noon service. Passes are not required.


Maundy Thursday  •  April 9, 2020
Holy Eucharist with Foot Washing and the Stripping of the Altar

7 pm (High Altar + live webcast)

At this celebration of Holy Communion, we commemorate the institution of the Last Supper and the tradition of the Mandatum novum (New Commandment), as the clergy and people ceremonially wash the feet of each other. The service concludes with the stripping of the altar and the vigil with the Reserved Sacrament in St. John’s Chapel until midnight. Incense is used at this service. Passes are not required.

Watch with the Reserved Sacrament

9 pm–Midnight (St. John’s Chapel + live webcast)

A silent vigil of prayer and meditation is held before the Reserved Sacrament, representing the disciples waiting with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Resources for prayer and devotion will be available in St. John’s Chapel. During this time, the Cathedral can be accessed via the northwest cloister doors. Last worshiper entry at 11:30 pm.


Good Friday  •  April 10, 2020
Morning Prayer in the Presence of the Reserved Sacrament

10 am (St. John’s Chapel)

The vigil with the Reserved Sacrament formally ends with the service of Morning Prayer for Good Friday. Passes are not required.

Solemn Liturgy of Good Friday

Noon (Nave + live webcast)

Scripture, music, ancient prayer and Communion from the Reserved Sacrament all provide the powerful setting for the drama of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The Rite of Reconciliation (confession) is offered throughout the day. Passes are not required.

Good Friday Evening Service

7 pm (Nave + live webcast)

Through readings and music from across centuries and traditions, this service offers a quiet, contemplative space to reflect on the death and burial of Christ, through readings and music from across centuries and traditions. Passes are not required.


Easter Eve  •  April 11, 2020
The Great Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter

8 pm (Nave + live webcast)

Join us as we observe the Paschal Mystery—the passage from darkness to light, from death to life—through the retelling of the history of salvation, powerful music and the administration of Holy Baptism. The service reaches its climax in a glorious celebration of the Holy Eucharist, proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Incense is used at this service. Passes are not required. All are welcome to bring bells. This is the only service of the day. American Sign Language Interpretation available at this service.


The Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Day  •  April 12, 2020
Festival Holy Eucharist

•  8 am (Nave + live webcast) PASSES REQUIRED: available March 2
•  11:15 am (Nave + live webcast) PASSES REQUIRED: available March 2

Join us for this most glorious celebration. Scripture, prayers, rich musical offerings and the celebration of Holy Communion, all combine to boldly proclaim the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead. The 8 am and 11:15 am services are identical. American Sign Language Interpretation is available at these services. Incense is used. Passes are required.

Following the 11:15 service, the Washington Ringing Society will joyfully proclaim the Resurrection by attempting a full peal on the Cathedral’s bells.

Easter Sunday Organ Recital

2 pm (Nave + live webcast)

Washington National Cathedral organists Thomas Sheehan and George Fergus play an Easter afternoon recital on the Cathedral’s 10,647-pipe organ. Passes are not required; $10 recommended donation.

Festival Choral Evensong

4 pm (Nave + live webcast)

Our Easter Day worship closes with Choral Evensong. This traditional Anglican service of sung evening prayer includes readings from Holy Scripture, choir-led psalms, hymns and anthems, canticles and a short sermon. Passes are not required.



Easter Week  
Noon Eucharist • April 13–18, 2020

12 pm  (High Altar)

Our Easter worship continues with a series of special Noon Eucharists throughout Easter week. These services, held at the high altar, include a short sermon, hymns and organ music. Passes are not required.

Choral Evensong • April 13–16, 2020

5:30 pm  (Great Choir)

Join us Monday through Thursday of Easter Week, as we offer a series of special Choral Evensongs. This Anglican service of sung evening prayer includes readings from Holy Scripture, choir-led psalms, hymns and canticles. Passes are not required.

Easter Sunday Passes

Due to capacity concerns, passes are required to attend the 8 am and 11:15 am Easter Sunday Service of Holy Eucharist.

Get Easter passes:

8:00 am service: available March 2, 2020

11:15 am service:available March 2, 2020

hands holding sprouting seedling

This Lent, join the Cathedral community in committing to one small act of compassion each day. Tell us about the ways you’re growing good in the world!

Registration is now open!

“Take on” rather than “Give Up” this Lent with the Cathedral Congregation. The popular Wednesday night dinners & classes journey is back.

Learn more and register

Re-Live Holy Week 2019

Lenten Meditations

Cathedral clergy offer a meditation each day during Lent. Beginning February 26.

Receive a Lenten Meditation each morning, helping you to make the journey through Lent to Easter: