#84: Catholic Mass At Grace Cathedral.

#84: Catholic Mass At Grace Cathedral.

No matter which Cathedral you go to in the city, just go to one, at least once. They’re all amazing in their own higher power, architecturally stunning, sheer beauty kind of way.

heavenly view

This Sunday morning I went to the Grace Cathedral, a few feet away from my apartment in Nob Hill. Among the many, I found 10 fantastic reasons to go back:

  1. The church is beautiful both inside and out, a rare combination of spacious size and exquisite features to have in a crowded city like SF.
  2. The labyrinth and the gorgeous stained glass windows beckon you in the doors… and into one of dark mahogany colored pews in the back.
  3. Get there 15 to 30 minutes early if you can.  On any given Sunday, the service is usually packed with only standing room available. 
  4. The sermons by the priest are always excellent and unique. Today’s story about a young man finding salvation, inspiration and hope in a big city reminded me of my own plight. In all things relative, turns out I had been pretty darn lucky up until now.
  5. The ornate, stained glass windows and the forged steel doors complete the majestic vision you’ve probably dreamed about. A church like Grace Cathedral really does exist.
  6. Soaring gothic ceilings flooded with cobalt blue light stream down from every angle onto the cathedral floor. No matter which pew or isle you slip into, the light from above (or maybe the heavens, too, shine blue on your seat.)
  7. Large iconic paintings of the story of San Francisco and its religious culture flow across the walls. Few churches around the world tell the history of its and let it seep into their walls as much as this one. I feel the history all around me.
  8. On Tuesdays you can catch free yoga in the cathedral quad.  Yes, it’s free –– no cost, no parking fee, no obligation to join an expensive studio. Just a packed gathering of like-minded yoginis humming “namaste” in a park across from the church.
  9. All cultures and faiths would feel welcome here.  I’m not religious at all, but walking in today I got a sense of refinement, love and peace. There were multiple altars –– one alter devoted to all of the world faiths, one altar devoted to the Mary Magdalene and women of the world, one alter welcoming the LGBT community –– giving me a new appreciation for catholocsim.
  10. The music can always be counted on.  On any given Sunday, you can hear gospel, classical, jazz or any other
    suitable genre. This morning, the church’s resident Choir of Men and Boys were practicing in the outside courtyard as I walked up.  

If you can’t make it to the Grace Cathedral, there are plenty more in the city worth checking out:

Saint Mary’s Cathedral, 1111 Gough St, SF, CA

Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral, 660 California St, SF, CA

Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1520 Green St, SF, CA

Holy Virgin Cathedral, 6210 Geary Blvd, SF, CA

St Dominic’s Catholic Church, 2390 Bush St, SF, CA