For those of my readers who are in, or who find themselves in, the Nation’s Capital over the next few weeks, there are three upcoming events that I would like to draw to your attention. All are free and open to the public…and may I hasten to add, this includes the non-Catholic public. Plus, at the first you will have the chance to see me make a mockery of myself in public, which is always a very good thing.
Wednesday, December 9th
Christmas Poetry in DC
Catholic Information Center
1501 K Street NW
(Metro: McPherson Square)
The Thomas More Society of America is sponsoring its annual “Christmas Poetry in DC” evening at the Catholic Information Center, and I’m honored to have been asked to return once again and give a reading. Over the past few years of participating in this event, I’ve become something like the comic relief portion of the program, but then I’m always happy to poke fun at myself. This is always a fun evening with a great turnout, and a wonderful opportunity to meet people, including some of the readers whom you may recognize from media, law, and so forth.
Sunday, December 13th
Advent Lessons and Carols
St. Luke’s Ordinariate Community
1315 8th Street NW
(Metro: Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center)
It’s been several years now since the Episcopalian parish of St. Luke’s came into communion with the Catholic Church via the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, thanks to the efforts of Pope Benedict XVI. Now established at Immaculate Conception Church, located directly behind the DC Convention Center, the community is hosting their annual service of Advent Lessons and Carols with music by Palestrina, Ralph Vaughan-Williams, and François Poulenc, among others. I was fortunate to attend last year, and was impressed (though not surprised) by the beauty and good taste of the music, but also with the magnificence of the Gothic Revival-style church itself, which I had never visited before. It was built between 1864-1865, and has been beautifully restored to its Victorian glory. Even if you are not Catholic, but appreciate fine architecture and sacred music, do plan to attend if you can.
Saturday, December 19th
St. Dominic’s Church
630 E Street SW
(Metro: L’Enfant Plaza)
Those who are regular readers know that I am a self-proclaimed fanboy of the Order of Preachers, a.k.a. the Dominicans. We are very fortunate here in DC to have not only the Dominican House of Studies and Priory of the Immaculate Conception, but also the parish of St. Dominic’s, a gorgeous Gothic Revival church built in 1875 and run by the Dominican friars. Chances are if you’ve been on 395 heading to or from Capitol Hill, you’ve seen the huge, stone steeple of St. Dominic’s from the highway. This is the second year in which the friars will be hosting Advent Stations in the church, and you really want to make the time to attend this if you can. The entire service is conducted in a completely darkened church, lit only by quite literally thousands of candles lining the altars, stairs, floors, and held by the attendees. It is really an experience, and the atmosphere is like stepping back a thousand years or more. There will be readings/preaching, as well as superb music, followed by a reception in the church hall afterwards.