You’re Welcome to Pay Tribute to Matthew Shepard

The bronze plaque that honors Matthew Shepard was installed in St. Joseph’s Chapel to mark his final resting place. It mirrors a plaque dedicated to human rights advocate Helen Keller, who lies nearby.

Like Helen Keller, Matthew dreamed and worked for a world full of love and compassion. This memorial plaque was made possible through a global crowdfunding initiative that raised all funds necessary within three weeks.

While there is a nominal entrance fee for visitors touring the Cathedral, there is no cost to any who come to pray or worship at the Cathedral, including those who come to visit this special spot dedicated to Matthew Shepard’s memory.

Photos of the plaque dedication | Photos of the plaque installation

Honoring Matthew Shepard–A Celebration of Life
December 1, 2020

You’re invited to join Washington National Cathedral and the Matthew Shepard Foundation at an online prayer service to celebrate the life of Matthew Shepard on what would have been his 44th birthday. Service leaflet

This celebration was made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.



Matthew Shepard Guestbook


Washington National Cathedral is honored and humbled to have received the earthly remains of Matthew Shepard, and entrust them to God as we await our entrance into the land of light perpetual and joy eternal in the fellowship of the saints.

Matthew’s death on Oct. 12, 1998, shocked the conscience of the nation and electrified the LGBTQ movement. While Matthew died too young, his death nonetheless gave life to a new generation of activists and allies who are committed to proclaiming God’s love for all of God’s children — no exceptions or exclusions.


Honoring Matthew Shepard—A Celebration and Plaque Dedication
December 2, 2019

Join Washington National Cathedral and the Matthew Shepard Foundation for a ceremony of inspiration, celebration and song as we dedicate the Matthew Shepard Memorial Plaque. Elevated by a grassroots, crowd-funded campaign in the weeks following Matthew’s 2018 interment in the Cathedral, the plaque is intended to honor Matthew’s memory and to serve as a source of strength in the continued journey for LGBTQ+ equality.

Special guests include Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, singer/songwriter Mary Lambert and Dennis & Judy Shepard.

This celebration was made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Download the service leaflet.


October 26, 2018
The Celebration for the Life of Matthew Wayne Shepard

On October 26, 2018 the public was invited to join the Cathedral as we hosted a Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance for Matthew Shepard. The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, and the Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man elected a bishop in The Episcopal Church, presided.

Download the service leaflet




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“We’ve given much thought to Matt’s final resting place, and we found the Washington National Cathedral is an ideal choice, as Matt loved the Episcopal church and felt welcomed by his church in Wyoming. For the past 20 years, we have shared Matt’s story with the world. It’s reassuring to know he now will rest in a sacred spot where folks can come to reflect on creating a safer, kinder world.”
– Judy Shepard