SEC Planning Takeover of National Cathedral

port_NationalCathedralYou may have heard by now that the dean of the Washington National Cathedral will soon be retiring. If not, you can read about it in this article from Tuesday’s Washington Post.

The Very Rev. Gary Hall has had an illustrious ministerial career that has literally taken him all over the world. We’re pretty sure, however, that the true highlight of his ministry at WNC was being tapped by the Supreme Executive Committee to officially open Lent Madness 2014. Watch the video to take a trip down Lenten lane.

Yes, he also wrote a back cover blurb for the founder of Lent Madness’ 2015 book Father Tim’s Church Survival Guide but this presumably ranks a distant second in Dean Hall’s vocational highlight reel.

As the Washington National Cathedral will soon be experiencing a power vacuum (a.k.a. searching for a new dean), the SEC is considering a hostile takeover. Well, not hostile exactly. It’s really more of a holy takeover.

Here are the top 10 things the SEC will do to make the National Cathedral even more awesome than it already is.

party1. Bathe the cathedral’s stunning exterior in purple light. Every night. Year-round.

2. Commission hand-carved gargoyles featuring all of our past and current Celebrity Bloggers.

3. Change the cathedral’s motto to “A House of Brackets for All People.”

4. Rededicate the chapels in the crypt as shrines to past Golden Halo winners.

5. Turn that awesome gift shop into a living Lentorium.

6. Let the Lent Madness voting public decide which presidents get to have their funerals at the cathedral.

7. Moonrock? Nah. We’ll replace it with a Lent Madness mug.

8. All future meetings of the SEC will take place under the watchful eye of the Darth Vader statue. With light sabers.

9. The famous Rose Window will be tweaked a little before being renamed the Purple Window.

10. The carillon will play Lenten hymns 24 hours a day, much to the joy of the surrounding neighborhoods. 

We bid Gary godspeed as he prepares to head back to California at the end of the year. Don’t worry. The cathedral will be in good hands. Well, hands.

To be clear, friends, we think the cathedral will actually be in great hands. There is a solid chapter, a great stuff, and a terrific bishop (who will serve as interim dean) to keep the cathedral on solid footing while they search for the next leader. The cathedral is a blessing to Washington, to its diocese, and to the nation. We at Lent Madness headquarters are grateful for the cathedral and its ministry. We hope you’ll pray for the cathedral now and in its time of discernment. Gary has a long list of accomplishments from his time there, and he’s got the place ready for the next era.

41 Comments to "SEC Planning Takeover of National Cathedral"

  1. Betsy Hill's Gravatar Betsy Hill
    August 20, 2015 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    You people are crazy. Thanks!!

  2. Christi Hill's Gravatar Christi Hill
    August 20, 2015 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    I fully support the plans from your SEC.

  3. MusicResonator's Gravatar MusicResonator
    August 20, 2015 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Um, I’m seeing a purple INterior.

    Now tell us about the pews.

  4. aleathia (dolores) nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores) nicholson
    August 20, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    You have finally reached the pinnacle of true absurdity…….and it is wonderful !! You cannot possibly top yourselves in the near (or far) future. With the shape it’s now in, your takeover can only make things better as they can’t get any worse at the cathedral. Count me in as one of the faithful SEC supporters forever and a day. Tell Ladt Jane “Hello.”

    • August 21, 2015 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      The cathedral has its challenges, to be sure, but in all seriousness, it has a great future ahead. If we were at all worried about its future, we wouldn’t be joking around. Gary Hall, in addition to being very funny, did great work there, and he’s got a lot sorted out so the next dean can come along in this new era. You seem to think things aren’t going well there, but I’m bullish on the place now and in the years to come.

  5. Joe Stroud's Gravatar Joe Stroud
    August 20, 2015 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    While I fully understand that each of the infamous Lent Madness mugs and Golden (plus one Silver) Halo mugs deserve places of honor somewhere in the Cathedral, and while all of the other proposed changes have merit, I must humbly disagree with the SEC’s plans to replace the moon rock! (But I do have one question, how will the SEC maintain the mystery of bracket discernment appropriately confidential when the discernment process is taking place in the parking lot of the Cathedral? Or will Darth be overseeing the SEC as it meets on the roof? (Or is there a statue of which I am not aware? I assume you are referring to the Darth Vader gargoyle on the OUTSIDE of the Cathedral??)

  6. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    August 20, 2015 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    I’m all for it (except the moon rock – leave it be) mostly because this will keep the SEC corralled. Always safer for the rest of us to know where you are!

    • Nancy Oliver's Gravatar Nancy Oliver
      August 21, 2015 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I hadn’t thought of that angle, you are so right these loons need to be corralled!

      • Bet Byrd's Gravatar Bet Byrd
        August 21, 2015 - 3:10 pm | Permalink


  7. Claudia Horner's Gravatar Claudia Horner
    August 20, 2015 - 11:45 am | Permalink

    Purple is the new black! Of course, also writing as a Ravens fan, purple and black is the new black, but I digress.

  8. August 20, 2015 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    My vote is to put a special gargoyle up to memorialize Gary’s dad…. former Bowery Boy/Dead End Kid/East End Kid Huntz Hall (who was also a very dedicated RC layman), His career in late 40’s Monogram B movies I am sure influenced my decision to seek out a higher power and review movies!

  9. Nancy Oliver's Gravatar Nancy Oliver
    August 20, 2015 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    A Megan Castellon gargoyle….hmmmm I like it!

  10. Martha Richards's Gravatar Martha Richards
    August 20, 2015 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I really appreciate the HOLY FOOLISHNESS. Keep up the good work.
    Purple light is nice – inside or outside?

  11. August 20, 2015 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    keep up your wonderful attitudes about this holy work we do. The Church benefits from what you are doing.

  12. Pat Cross's Gravatar Pat Cross
    August 20, 2015 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Save room for the seriousness The Curry.

    • Pat's Gravatar Pat
      August 20, 2015 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

      As in Micheal?

  13. lindanola's Gravatar lindanola
    August 20, 2015 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    so- you 2 are going for a purple reign? nice….

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      August 20, 2015 - 9:33 pm | Permalink


    • RoseAnn Evans's Gravatar RoseAnn Evans
      August 21, 2015 - 6:30 pm | Permalink


  14. Babzee's Gravatar Babzee
    August 20, 2015 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

    keep the moon rock but paint it purple.

  15. August 20, 2015 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    In regards to item #7, don’t replace the moonrock with the mug but instead install a golden halo (the ones given out during General Convention) to encircle the rock.

  16. Therese's Gravatar Therese
    August 20, 2015 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Love this!

  17. Susan Hayes's Gravatar Susan Hayes
    August 20, 2015 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    When Rolling Thunder comes next time, let them be given laser light swords to beam up

  18. Donald Lowery's Gravatar Donald Lowery
    August 20, 2015 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

    O please, couldn’t the interior illumination change seasonally to the liturgical colours of said block of time. But jazzed up. The Cathedral could alternate between UNC blue and Duke blue for Advent, Alternating gold and silver for Easter and Christmas, Fire Engine Red for Pentecost and various shades of green, from Lemon-Lime to dark olive so ordinary time doesn’t get dull. Darth Vader Black for Good Friday, of course. O please, please….

    • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
      August 20, 2015 - 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant! I’m surprised the SEC didn’t think of that, dedicated as they are to liturgical propriety.

  19. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    August 20, 2015 - 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Wunnerful, wunnerful!

  20. linda delacruz's Gravatar linda delacruz
    August 20, 2015 - 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous! The Lent Madness guys are truly Mad themselves. Very Appropriate!

  21. Linda Clader's Gravatar Linda Clader
    August 20, 2015 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

    All great ideas, but I think you should consider what could be done from–or on–the tower. And what about bells? Keep up the great work!

  22. Keith's Gravatar Keith
    August 20, 2015 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I think a rousing chorus of Prince’s PURPLE RAIN would soothe the surrounding the WNC neighbors.

  23. Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
    August 20, 2015 - 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Best news I’ve heard since the sad news that the Dean is retiring! I hope the SEC goes ahead with its takeover – consider me a supporter!!!

  24. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    August 20, 2015 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I must add my voice to the “keep the moon rock” choir.
    (Serious note here.) It is just too amazing to have a little piece of a whole other world in that cathedral.
    But the other ideas are great!

  25. Kathy Schillreff's Gravatar Kathy Schillreff
    August 21, 2015 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    Which one of you is throwing your name in the process for the new dean?

    • August 21, 2015 - 9:56 am | Permalink

      Neither one of us. They’ll have many candidates with far better qualifications.

  26. Eileen Fisher's Gravatar Eileen Fisher
    August 21, 2015 - 10:11 am | Permalink

    How about nighttime flashing purple lights highlighting the exterior of the cathedral? Might induce seizures so get a consult from a neurologist before embarking on this scheme. And don’t forget to make the communion wafers purple as well as the wine.
    You two are barking mad, as the Brits say. Love it!!! Good luck on your holy takeover. Have you run this by Katharine Jefferts Schori yet? Or is this a secret?

  27. Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
    August 21, 2015 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Fabulous idea. Long may the purple reign! I like the suggestion that the moon rock be given an honorary Golden Halo. Gives us something to ponder in the long wait for the next Lent Madness

  28. Denise's Gravatar Denise
    August 21, 2015 - 4:29 pm | Permalink

    I love the ideas! Go for it!

  29. Kim Rossi's Gravatar Kim Rossi
    August 21, 2015 - 6:50 pm | Permalink

    What fun this would be —- a purple cathedral!

  30. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    August 21, 2015 - 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I was so furious I wasn’t able to visit the cathedral on my 4-H trip to DC. Now I want to go even more. Anyone for a tour bus from the Midwest to see the new cathedral?

  31. Tom Brown's Gravatar Tom Brown
    August 23, 2015 - 7:35 am | Permalink

    Excellent tomfoolery….just bear in mind that 50 percent of readers, even Episcopalians, don’t recognize satire. You may have created a lot of fear among those frail grandmothers clutching their prayer books.

  32. Cassandra's Gravatar Cassandra
    August 24, 2015 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    I think the moon rock needs to stay. It shouldn’t be painted purple, though. Instead, let’s give it a Golden Halo and bathe it in purple light. I think that’ll bring it into the Lent Madness fold wonderfully!

  33. Patrice's Gravatar Patrice
    August 27, 2015 - 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I would LOVE to be able to buy Lentorium memorabilia in the Cathedral gift shop!! I also like the “purple is the new black” idea; however, the moon rock must stay.

Comments are closed.