Grace Cathedral

San Francisco's Historic Chapel

Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral via Flickr CC 2.0 D.H. Parks

Grace Cathedral stands prominently in the affluent Nob Hill section of San Francisco, California. It is the third largest Episcopal cathedral in the country, and its noted architecture and iconic design features are revered by historians and laypeople alike the world over.

The Cathedral's mostly Gothic structure began formation in 1928 on a city block tract of land donated to the Episcopal Diocese of California by American railroad tycoon Charles Crocker. But the Great Depression and complex challenges such as building on a hill and steeling the infrastructure against the next great earthquake meant progress would be slow, and it took 67 years to complete Grace Cathedral in all of its present day splendor.

If you are planning a trip to Grace Cathedral, you will be one among thousands who visit Grace Cathedral each year for a multitude of reasons, which typically include: sojourning with fellow members of the larger Anglican community, a personal, spiritual journey to commune with God, attendance of a planned event, such as a wedding or Baptismal, or to see firsthand the many relics and historical treasures that Grace Cathedral houses.

Tours at the Cathedral are available Tuesday through Friday, from 1 – 3 pm, Saturdays from 11:30 – 1:30, and Sundays from 12:30 – 2:00 pm. You can also call ahead for special group tours of the church: 415-749-6348.

Learn how to walk the in-ground labyrinth for inner peace, prayer, and solace. Make your walk on the terrazzo stone labyrinth located in the outdoor courtyard of Grace Cathedral, or upon the indoor labyrinth beautifully constructed of limestone. Many find healing and restorative powers from walking a labyrinth, and you can make your meditative walk around Grace Cathedral's outdoor labyrinth 24 hours every day of the year.

Although a member of the Anglican order, Grace Cathedral considers itself a progressive church that observes both Catholic and Protestant practices. However, the church's main goal is to be an open house of prayer for any person, from any faith, year-round. If you plan on attending service at Grace Cathedral, you can do so on any day of the year.

Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral via Flickr CC 2.0 Shiny Things

Worship services are divided into 3 categories at Grace: Holy Communion, or Holy Eucharist, Prayer Service, and Choral Service. Grace Cathedral has one of the only three remaining boys and mens choirs in the nation, and choral concerts run from September through June each year.

Sunday Choral Communion begins at 11 am every month, and you can also hear the boys and mens choir and participate in choral worship at Grace during evensong from 3 – 6 pm on Sundays, and beginning at 5:15 on Thursdays, September through June only.

Whether you visit Grace Cathedral to worship, celebrate, or site-see, you will definitely marvel at the spectacular display of stained glass windows that adorn Grace. The windows were designed by two renowned artists: American legend Charles Connick and European master Gabriel Loire of Chartres, France.

Tip: If you want to see the magnificent details of Grace Cathedral's stained glass windows, be sure to pack a pair of good binoculars, as most windows are set at least 25 feet over head.

Check out the Grace Cathedral official website for full details on visiting.