Frequently Asked Questions


Are the Cathedral gardens and grounds open to visit?

Yes, the gardens and grounds are open from dawn to dusk every day. We hope you enjoy time spent in the beauty of God’s creation!

We ask that you remember three things: 1) Wear a mask and practice social distancing. 2) Dispose of any trash. 3) Leash your dogs and pets.

If you are interested in hosting a photo shoot or a group gathering of any kind on the Cathedral grounds, please contact eventrentals@cathedral.org.

Is the Cathedral open for visitors?

Not yet. The Cathedral is currently closed to visitors – for both touring and worshipping — because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will fully re-open once it is deemed safe for everyone.

The COVID-19 pandemic and closures have severely impacted the Cathedral’s finances. We welcome your support to help sustain our ministries. Thank you!

When will the Cathedral reopen for worship?

After reviewing our options, the Cathedral determined that the best way to provide the highest quality, most vibrant and most accessible worship is to continue online-only worship services.

When public officials and health experts deem it safe to fully re-open, we can’t wait to welcome you back for worship. Until then, we invite you to join us for daily prayer services and Sunday Eucharist via cathedral.org. You can also find all services on our worship page.

We will follow the guidance of city leaders, health officials and the bishop of the Diocese of Washington. We will also post services to our  Facebook page or our YouTube channel.

What about outdoor worship services?

We plan to experiment with small outdoor worship services in the beautiful All Hallows Amphitheater in the fall of 2020. In addition, we have invited parishes across the Diocese of Washington to use the Amphitheater for socially distanced outdoor services.

If you have any questions, please email us.

When will the Cathedral reopen for touring?

We would love to throw open our doors tomorrow, if we could, but we’re not there yet.

In order for the Cathedral to re-open, it needs to be safe for visitors, and it needs to be financially responsible, given our diminished staff levels.

We will follow the guidance of city leaders, health officials and the bishop of the Diocese of Washington. Any updates will be posted to cathedral.org and our Facebook page.

If other sites are open, why is the Cathedral still closed?

It’s a good question, and we understand the frustration!

In these really challenging times, the Cathedral must balance a number of competing factors, from cleaning costs to staffing levels to the quality of the experience you’d have at the Cathedral.

After reviewing our options, the Cathedral determined it is not financially responsible to reopen at this time. We also determined that we can offer the best and most accessible worship service by continuing with online-only services.

We are constantly monitoring the pandemic, public health guidance, financial resources and staff levels. When we feel confident that we can safely and responsibly reopen, we can’t wait to see you!

If you would like to help support the Cathedral during this difficult times by making a gift to sustain our ministries, we thank you for your support!

Is the Cathedral hosting weddings and funerals?

The Cathedral is open for private weddings and funerals, subject to size limitations and other public health concerns.

To inquire about a wedding ceremony or memorial service, please contact eventrentals@cathedral.org.

What safety and health measures is the Cathedral taking?

In addition to regular, thorough cleanings, the Cathedral is frequently wiping down furniture and other commonly touched surfaces (such as door handles) using CDC-approved disinfectants.  Our  HVAC system has upgraded air filters.

Properly worn face masks are always required of our staff and visitors.  All events and activities are being designed to ensure adequate social distancing.  Automatic hand sanitizer dispensers will be available to guests throughout the Cathedral.  Brochures and service bulletins will be made available on mobile devices whenever possible.

Are you taking reservations for future visits?

We are accepting reservation requests for individuals and family groups fewer than 14 and groups of 15 or more people for private tours in the possibility of being open. Please note these forms are requests only and are not a confirmation for visitation. We are not currently accepting requests for regular walk-in sightseeing.

Is the Cathedral open or available for private events?

The best way to learn more about hosting a small event at the Cathedral (either indoors or outdoors) is to email eventrentals@cathedral.org

All events in the Cathedral are subject to size limits established by the D.C. government, and must also include social distancing, face masks and other public health measures.

If I can't come in person, are there ways to tour the Cathedral virtually?

Yes! We welcome you to browse some of our popular spots on the interior and exterior and check out themed galleries that explore Cathedral art and architecture on everything from music to animals to civil rights.

My kids would love to visit. What's available for kids?

We can’t wait to welcome your kids back to the Cathedral. In the meantime, you can download coloring pages of Cathedral artwork and gargoyles, and you can buy online bricks to our LEGO Cathedral. We’ll send you photos of the LEGO Cathedral that you helped build!

Is the Cathedral gift shop open?

The physical gift shop remains closed, but we are now able to fulfill online orders. Orders may take a little longer than normal to ship, but we invite you to browse our online shelves!

Is the Cathedral Café open?

Not at this time. Please visit Open City at the National Cathedral’s website for status information.

I still have questions. Who do I contact?

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for, please email us and we will get back to you!