Nat’l Cathedral to Honor Matthew Shepard for the First Time Since the Pandemic Started

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The  Washington National Cathedral will open St. Joseph’s Chapel (located inside the Cathedral) to in-person visitors next Wednesday, December 1 for the first time since the pandemic started, in honor of the birthday of Matthew Shepard, whose remains are interred inside the Chapel.

The  Washington National Cathedral, in partnership with the Matthew Shepard Foundation, today announced that it will open St. Joseph’s Chapel (located inside the Cathedral) to in-person visitors on Wednesday, December 1 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for the first time since the pandemic started, in honor of the birthday of Matthew Shepard, whose remains are interred inside the Chapel.

The remains of Shepard, who was murdered in anti-gay hate crime in 1998, were interred at the Cathedral in 2018, making him one of approximately 200 people to have been interred in the Cathedral over the last century. Others include President Woodrow Wilson, and Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan.

In addition to the opening of St. Joseph’s Chapel to the public from 10 – 5, for Shepard’s birthday, the
Cathedral will also host the following events on December 1:

● Morning Prayer: Remember, Reflect, Resolve — From 7 – 8 a.m. ET, this traditional service will
include prayer, scripture and music and will be led by the Rev. Canon Rosemarie Logan Duncan,
Canon for Worship at Washington National Cathedral. There will be a live stream via YouTube
and cathedral.org, which media are free to use with credit to Washington National Cathedral.

● Remember, Reflect, Resolve: Online — From 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, this all-day service will connect
people around the world to honor Shepard and the LGBTQ community and pray for a more just
world. The Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage will post prayers on Facebook throughout
the day.

● Evening Service: Remember, Reflect, Resolve — At 5:30 p.m. ET, there will be an in-person
remembrance of Shepard in the Cathedral’s Nave (the main worship space), to reflect on his
commitment to a more caring and just world. Matthew’s parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, are
scheduled to participate.

There will be a live stream at this link.

“Matthew Shepard’s death is an enduring tragedy affecting all people and should serve as an ongoing
call to the nation to reject anti-LGBTQ bigotry and instead embrace each of our neighbors for who they
are,” said the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, at the
time of Shepard’s interment. “In the years since Matthew’s death, the Shepard family has shown
extraordinary courage and grace in keeping his spirit”

The Matthew Shepard Foundation amplifies the story of Matthew to inspire individuals, organizations
and communities to embrace the dignity and equality of all people. Through local, regional and national
outreach, we empower individuals to find their voice to create change and challenge communities to
identify and address hate that lives within their schools, neighborhoods and homes.
Our work is an extension of Matt’s passion to foster a more caring and just world. We share his story and
embody his vigor for civil rights to change the hearts and minds of others to accept everyone as they are.