Washington National Cathedral

The idea of the Washington Cathedral was conceived in the first plan of the District  of Columbia itself, back in 1791.  The concept about the "church" was that it be "intended for national purposes, such as public prayer, thanksgiving, funeral orations, etc., and assigned to the special use of no particular Sect or denomination, but equally open to all.?  It took more than a century for the first stone to be laid, in 1907.  The cornerstone was made of granite inlayed with a stone from a field near Bethlehem.   In 1912, Bethlehem Chapel held its first services, which have been held ever since.  Construction continued on the cathedral over the course of  eighty-three years marked by the completion of the west towers in September 1990.

The Cathedral quickly became the focus for services of a national nature from early on.   In World War II monthly services were held "On behalf of a united people in a time of emergency".  The Cathedral continues to be a place of national focus. It was the site of President George W. Bush?s Inaugural Prayer Service and later the National Prayer and Remembrance service on September 14, 2001. On December 25, 2002, the Cathedral broadcast its fiftieth national Christmas service.

The National Cathedral is located at the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues in northwest Washington, D.C.

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  • Washington National Cathedral
  • Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues, N.W.
  • Washington, DC 20016-5098
  • (202) 537-6200
  • Directions
  • Web site

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