Grace Cathedral is an Episcopal church in the heart of San Francisco.
We are both a warm congregation and a house of prayer for all people.
We welcome visitors from all over the world.

 

What’s Happening at Grace Cathedral?

On Earth Day, talk about water with Environmental Defense Fund’s Associate Vice President of Ecosystems

The Forum with Maurice Hall: The Truth about Water

Sunday, April 22

On Earth Day, talk about water with Environmental Defense Fund’s Associate Vice President of Ecosystems

Prepare to be amazed as National Natural Landmark Burney Falls cascades down the Great Steps

Earth Day

Sunday, April 22

Prepare to be amazed as National Natural Landmark Burney Falls cascades down the Great Steps

Why We're Holding a Beyoncé Mass

About Our Beyoncé Mass

Wednesday, April 25

Why We're Holding a Beyoncé Mass

Celebrate our 2018 Artist in Residence at a special evensong

Evensong for Artist in Residence Sukey Bryan

Thursday, April 26

Celebrate our 2018 Artist in Residence at a special evensong

Journalist and author Sasha Abramsky analyzes America's most dangerous epidemic: irrational fear.

The Forum with Sasha Abramsky: Jumping at Shadows

Sunday, April 29

Journalist and author Sasha Abramsky analyzes America's most dangerous epidemic: irrational fear.

Listen to Featured Sermons

Sunday, April 22
Sunday 11 a.m. Sermon
Preacher: The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm C. Young
Sermon from Sunday's 11 a.m. Eucharist
Read sermon

The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm C. Young’s sermon manuscript will be available soon.

Tuesday, April 17
The Voice Behind All Things
Preacher: The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm C. Young
Tuesday April 17th Yoga Introduction
Read sermon

The Voice Behind All Things

We have all heard a voice. It offers us guidance and direction, and sometimes even warns us. It is so ubiquitous that, when we know where we are going, it just fades quietly into the background and we cease to notice it at all.

We hear it in hospitals, subway systems and 250 airports around the world. It may be one of the most frequently heard voices in all history. Although you may have doubted whether this public address system voice belongs to a real person, it does.

Her name is Carolyn Hopkins. She lives in Northern Maine. She makes the recordings in her own house and emails them to the public address company. When asked about what makes people around the world prefer her voice she guesses that they might hear the smile behind it.

In the 1980’s Wim Wenders film Der Himmel Über Berlin (The Wings of Desire) invisible angels can hear the thoughts of people as they go past. In one scene the angel walks through a library hearing what is in every person’s heart.

In our heads we all carry voices that we recognize. Some of these may be disapproving voices that point out our failures and our limitations. They say things like “You can’t do this!” or, “they never loved you,” or, “you’re just like your father” or, “your brother was always better than you.”

Sometimes I think those voices of our thoughts become so dominant, so loud or constant, that we cannot really hear what is happening. This cathedral has different sounds. The woosh of the cable cars, the rain against the stained glass windows, the wind blowing over Nob Hill. One of the most beautiful sounds to me is that of preparation as people get ready for Yoga. A kind of spirit speaks to us in these moments that we often don’t recognize.

Eknath Easwaran started an ashram in Petaluma and was the one who taught me to meditate. He introduced me to the idea that if we can learn to lay our busy thoughts to the side, we might experience more moments of divinity, the holy.

He taught a form of passage meditation. I want to share one of my favorite passages with you tonight. It comes from St. Augustine’s autobiography Confessions.[1]

“Imagine if all the tumult of the body were to quiet down, along with our busy thoughts about earth, sea and air; if the very world should stop, and the mind cease thinking about itself, go beyond itself, and be quite still; if all the fantasies that appear in dreams and imagination should cease, and there be no speech, no sign:”

“Imagine if all things that are perishable grew still – for if we listen they are saying, We did not make ourselves; he made us who abides forever – imagine, then, that they should say this and fall silent, listening to the very voice of him who made them and not to that of his creation;”

“So that we should hear not his word through the tongues of [people], nor the voice of angels, nor the cloud’s thunder, nor any symbol, but the very Self which in these things we love, and go beyond ourselves to attain a flash of that eternal wisdom which abides above all things.”

“And imagine if that moment were to go on and on, leaving behind all other sights and sounds but this one vision which ravishes and absorbs and fixes the beholder in joy; so that the rest of eternal life were like that moment of illumination which leaves us breathless:”

“Would this not be what is bidden in scripture, Enter thou into the joy of the Lord?”

When I am with you on Tuesday nights I hear this voice. When we are together I can hear the smile behind all creation.

Darren’s theme – The Earth as a Temple

[1] Translation of Augustine’s Confessions by Michael N. Nagler in Eknath Easwaran, God Makes the Rivers to Flow (Petaluma, CA: Nilgiri Press, 1991) 171.

Discover Grace

A Joyous Easter

Get Your New GraceGuide

The Gift of Grace

Our community celebrated a solemn and expressive Holy Week that culminated in a joyous Easter on April 1.

If you missed our glorious 11 am Choral Eucharist, you can watch it on Youtube and see the Easter slideshow.

Recently refreshed and better than ever!

Our free, fun and fascinating app, GraceGuide, has been refreshed, and users should download the new version and delete the old one off their phones. It’s as simple as going to the App Store store or Google Play and downloading the app (don’t forget to delete the old version first). Enjoy four distinctive experiences that will enhance any visit to the cathedral. Need to entertain family and friends? The new GraceGuide is your holiday helper!

 

Stewardship is a cherished practice of the Episcopal Church that helps us connect our lives to the core mission of Grace Cathedral.

With our annual financial gifts, we deepen our own spiritual awareness of our blessing and share with others in service. Through the generosity of congregant Bill Van Loo, new pledging members of Grace Cathedral for The Gift of Grace will receive a photographic print of Grace in the Fog by Bill Van Loo.

News

Connect with Us