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National Cathedral offering week of special programs to "See Deeper"

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The National Cathedral will be opening the inspiring expanse of the main interior space for a week of special offerings beginning Monday. Artists and seekers are invited to come in and explore. With all of the seating removed, the nave will be transformed, offering new paths for creative expression and a new spaciousness for the spirit to soar.

The Cathedral is opening the doors of this remarkable national treasure, offering new ways to experience the spiritual home of the nation this week with their “Seeing Deeper” programs. They will explore the spiritual and the artistic, the practice and the hearing, the silence and the song, all part of bringing life the many facets of a person’s being.

During the day, “Seeing Deeper” will provide a unique look at the building for past sightseers and a stunning way to view the building for first-time visitors. The openness allows the nave to be seen as cathedrals looked during medieval times. It openness allows striking views of the restoration work being done in the balconies and “above the netting” as well.

On select mornings, photographers are invited to visit before public hours to capture the space. The National Cathedral is known for its art and iconography.

This week of introspection will offer reflection and transcendence to thousands of worshipers, concert-goers, pilgrims, and visitors.

On Monday, January 13, from 7 to 9 pm, the Cathedral plans Tai Chi exercise. This evening of learning simple movements includes spirit exploration and allows guests to experience the joy of this ancient system that fosters a deep and abiding calm while improving balance and coordination.

Tuesday through Friday, January 14–17, the brief service of Morning Prayer is will be performed in the spaciousness of the empty nave. The services begins at 8 am and will include Scripture, spoken prayers, and times of silence.

On Wednesday, January 15, Canon Michael McCarthy and the professional choir “Cathedra” will present three 30-minute sets (7 pm, 8 pm, and 9 pm) of choral music for expansive space and extreme polyphony.

On Thursday, January 16, from 7 to 9 pm, the Cathedral offers an evening of quiet contemplation to pray for wholeness. Guests are invited to walk the labyrinth, meditate, light a candle, receive healing prayer, or simply experience the evening quiet of the nave listening to the strains of harp and Native American flute music, and occasional led prayers.

On Friday evening, January 17, Canon McCarthy and the professional choir “Cathedra” present a 75-minute concert beginning at 7 pm. Through the centuries, cathedrals have been regarded as places of sanctuary and repose. This program builds on that theme and the works presented will reflect throughout the vast empty space of the nave with surrounding and reverberant sound.

The week concludes with a vigil to awaken and “see deeper” in the New Year. The vigil begins at 9 pm on January 17, and guests may come for all or part of the all-night vigil to pray, seek inspiration, and listen for the calling of the Holy.

The labyrinths and candle reflection stations are open all night. Every hour prayers and guided meditations are led by faith leaders in many traditions, interspersed with contemplative music and silence. Closing prayers at 6 am on Saturday complete the vigil.