Honoring Matthew Shepard—A Celebration and Plaque Dedication
December 2, 2019 • 7 pm

Matthew Shepard as photographed in the late 1990s. 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 in the Chapel of St. Joseph of Arimathea is intended to honor Matthew’s memory and to serve as a source of strength in the continued journey for LGBTQ+ equality. Gathered again in the Cathedral Nave, speakers and musicians will celebrate Matthew’s legacy and highlight ongoing efforts to, as the Matthew Shepard Foundation declares, “envision a future without hate, where understanding and compassion guide us toward an equitable world.”

Our celebration is made possible through the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

This service is free and open to the public, however, RSVPs are required for planning purposes. Please register below:




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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.


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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Giving in Memory of Matthew Shepard

A gift in memory of Matthew Shepard enables the Cathedral to continue and expand its mission, and to open its doors to the nation at moments just like this. It is our joy and privilege to do this work, and we appreciate partners from across the country. From everyone at the Cathedral, thank you for your support.

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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