|263: St Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, Washington, USA|
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Mystery Worshipper: Peregrine.
The church: St Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, Washington, USA.
Denomination: Episcopal Church in the USA (ECUSA).
The building: Unattractive and confusing contemporary exterior, a combination of stone, wood and brick. Interior was surprisingly light, airy and attractive with a fascinating glass and steel reredos.
The neighbourhood: Set in residential area called Capitol Hill.
The cast: Assisting Bishop Sanford Z.K. Hampton, Celebrant and Preacher. The Very Rev. Robert Taylor, Dean.
What was the name of the service?
The Feast of All Saints with Holy Baptism.
How full was the building?
Did anyone welcome you personally?
A gentlemanly usher greeted me with a friendly "Good morning!" An equally pleasant woman handed me the service booklet.
Was your pew comfortable?
Comfortable enough, considering there were no cushions.
How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Gentle murmur of conversation punctuated by the occasional squeals from the soon-to-be-baptized.
What were the exact opening words of the service?
After the prelude the Dean said, "Welcome to this service celebrating the Feast of all Saints," and continued by introducing the guest presider and preacher.
What books did the congregation use during the service?
The very complete service booklet was augmented by the Hymnal 1980.
What musical instruments were played?
An impressive Flentrop organ, and a trumpet.
Did anything distract you?
Two women seated in different rows in front of me, each swigging away on bottled water!
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
A reverent melange of ages, sexes, apparently different social and financial circumstances, sitting, standing, and kneeling during the Great Thanksgiving lets one know that freedom in worship is valued here. The firm and clearly audible responses by parents and godparents during the baptismal vows (and a resounding "We will!" from the congregation) made this visitor think they really meant it.