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.


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41 comments on “SEC Planning Takeover of National Cathedral”

  1. 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."

  2. 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??)

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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....

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

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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!!!

  12. 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!

    1. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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

  15. 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?