Category Archives: Grace Cathedral

Discussion Group: The Anglican and Episcopal Traditions

When: July 9 – July 30
 Chapter Room
Tickets: $ 5 donation requested for dinner
Learn More

The Anglican and Episcopal traditions are sometimes known as the “Middle Way.”  What does this mean for how we live our own life of faith, in our own times and circumstances?  Explore this “Middle Way” in history and in your own life, addressing areas such as religion, politics, scripture, outreach, and personal practice.


Grace Cathedral Wants Your Feedback

Grace Cathedral is looking for feedback on your experience at the church at yoga and other services and events. If you would like to make your views known and help shape the future of the Grace Cathedral community, you can fill out a short survey  HERE

WinterFaith Shelter Walk

Lake Merced Park
Sunday May 4, 2014 • 1:30 PM

Join the Grace Cathedral Community in making a difference !

—> Learn more and Register to Walk


AUDIO: V-Day Class 2014

On Valentines Day Morning Darren Main lead a class set to the stunning music of Clare Hedin to bring awareness to violence against women worldwide.    This class was part of the One Billion Rising movement and was timed to coincide with similar events around the globe!

Pay It Forward
If you enjoy this recording, please consider paying it forward by making a donation to an organization that helps women escape from violence and heal the trauma left in its wake.   There is a list of highly regarded organizations HERE that would welcome a donation in whatever amount you can afford.

Valentines Day Yoga on the Labyrinth: Support ‘One Billion Rising’

When: February 14, 2014, 10am
Where: The indoor labyrinth at Grace Cathedral

Join us as we answer the call of V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE and host a special morning of Yoga on the Labyrinth with instructor Darren Main and musician  Clare Hedin. Our event will join with ONE BILLION people across the globe, in powerful protest against the violence that affects ONE BILLION women and girls around the world.

ONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to survivors of violence, and those who love them, to gather, break the silence, and release

Yoga Tree

their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, ritual, song, spoken word, or whatever feels right. It is a call to bring on revolutionary justice.

Special Thanks to Yoga Tree for helping to sponsor this event.

Interview with artist Anne Patterson

Anne Patterson

Countless people email asking about the awe-inspiring ribbons that hang from the ceiling of Grace Cathedral.  I had the amazing opportunity to interview Anne Patterson—the world-renown artist behind this beautiful instillation.

You  are an artist in residence at Grace Cathedral.    What exactly is that and how were you chosen for such an honor?
The Reverend Jane Shaw who is the Dean at Grace came up with the idea of an artist in residence at the cathedral. Art has always been an important part of the Cathedral but never before had there been this specific position. Dean Shaw recognizes how important the arts are to a spiritual practice and created this position to bring the arts into the cathedral in an official capacity. Jane and I were introduced through a mutual friend who had seen a production I had designed and directed for the San Francisco Symphony. At our first meeting in my studio in NYC we really hit it off.  I realized immediately what an amazing opportunity was been presented to me and went into high gear to make my year as artist in residence something very special.
How did you get the idea for the ribbons?
Right from the start I knew I wanted to create an installation that was interactive and moved people deeply.
I spent a lot of time watching people enter the cathedral. Almost every visitor looks up – if not right away, then eventually. I wanted to reference the height of the space and recognize and intensify our connection to that which we are all looking up towards – that which I call spirit. I had worked with satin ribbons in the theater before and knew the magic they could inspire if lit properly. And I can not underestimate the power of intention. I was determined to create something beautiful that moved people. That was my intention. Then I tried to put my fears aside – all the stupid stories we tell ourselves about not being good enough –  and I tried to stay open to ideas and inspiration. I discuss more of this below.

Music played an important role in the creation of this installation.  Can you explain how the music inspired you and how you choose the musician?

I have synesthesia which means I see color and shape when I hear music. Joshua Roman, the cellist who performed the first concert that inaugurated the opening of Graced With Light – The Ribbon Project was rehearsing in the cathedral when I was sketching up my initial ideas for the installation. There was something about the way his notes traveled through the space that brought to mind strands of light traveling heavenward. Joshua named the piece he composed for the opening “Riding Light”.  I am a very collaborative artist and get some of my best ideas talking and sharing with other artists.  Abby McKee, Grace’s Director of Cultural Events and I chose the two musicians, Joshua Roman and Paul Haas. We considered many musicians but these amazing talents were the two who spoke to us most strongly. Paul Haas had gone to The Cathedral School so he was the perfect fit for a piece composed for the men and boy’s choir.

What is the significance of red and blue ribbons?

The blue ribbons were installed first and represent our higher power. The red ribbons were installed in late June and include written prayers, dreams and wishes. They represent the human dimension of the installation. The white panels which were hung up in October represent the spirit.

The installation will be removed in the coming months.  What is the thinking behind this?  I know many visitors to the cathedral are sad to know they will be coming down.

Dean Shaw explained it this way, “There’s a lot of people who don’t want to see it go away but, you know, everything has its life.” However I am creating a piece of art using some of the ribbons from the installation. This new piece will have a permanent home in the cathedral. 

You frequently attend Yoga on the Labyrinth when you are in San Francisco.  How do you see yoga and meditation influencing your artwork?  

I have been meditating and working on the idea of myself as a channel. A vessel for inspiration and creativity to flow through. I’ve been rereading Shakti Gawain’s “Living in the Light”. For me it is a very simple yet profound book. One of her premises is that what we put out into the world is exactly what is given back to us. I find that through both meditation and yoga I can keep my own channel open and manifest the things I want for myself, the people I love and the world around me. Both yoga and meditation are very important to me as an artist. Not only are both very restorative and centering for me but yoga and meditation also help me to sift through the busyness of my life and recognize where I want to put my energies and creativity. I also love the community aspect of yoga. The Yoga on the Labyrinth is profound in that regard. All these wonderful people manifesting health, joy and peace together. I feel so honored that my ribbons get to a part of that exchange. When the ribbons start dancing as the yoga heats up it is a magical moment.
Learn more about Anne Patterson at her WEBSITE or by reading her recent interview in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Graced with Light

SF Gate ran an amazing piece about the ribbons hanging from the ceiling of Grace Cathedral and Anne Patterson, the artist responsible for this moving installation.

‘Graced With Light’ art installation has 20 miles of ribbons

By Anh-Minh Le • SF

The “Graced With Light” installation consists of about 1,100 strands of ribbon, each 86 feet in length, in shades of blue, green and red. They cascade from the cathedral’s attic. Photo: Fiestaban Photography

There are plenty of reasons for art and music lovers to visit Grace CathedralJohn De Rosen murals, a replica of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise,” two labyrinths, a Keith Haring altarpiece and a 44-bell carillon. For nearly a year, Anne Patterson, the cathedral’s 2013 artist in residence, has provided yet another reason.

Patterson, a New York installation artist and director, is responsible for “Graced With Light” – a music-inspired installation that features nearly 20 miles of multihued ribbons cascading from the church’s vaulted ceiling arches. The piece – which was to be on view through early fall last year – has proven so popular that it will stay up until the end of February.

“It’s been this incredible thing we’ve lived with,” says the Very Rev. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral. “It absolutely fills the space in the best way, taking colors from the stained glass literally. And it just lifts people’s spirits.”

With 2013 marking the 100th anniversary of Grace Cathedral’s Choir of Men & Boys, and drawing on Patterson’s background such as a collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony‘s 2012 production of “The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastien,” incorporating music into her residency was a given.

The first phase of “Graced With Light” was a March performance by cellist Joshua Roman, along with the unveiling of Patterson’s ribbon installation. The latter consisted of 632 86-foot strands of ribbon, each less than an inch wide, in three shades of blue and two shades of green.

‘Exchange of energy’

Patterson describes it as an “incredible exchange of energy.” During the final number, the audience was invited to scatter throughout the cathedral. “Many people chose to lay down in the pews,” says Patterson. “One audience member told me that it was the best therapy session he had ever experienced. As he was lying down looking up at the ribbons, he imagined the things he wanted out of his life flowing up the ribbons and the things he wanted to welcome into his life streaming down the ribbons into him.”

The installation at the Nob Hill cathedral was the result of months of prep work that Patterson did from her art studio in Manhattan. She constructed a 3/16-inch scale model with embroidery floss. She hung ribbons in the hallway outside her studio to help determine the density and color pattern. She devised technical drawings. “I did as much as I could in advance,” she says, “but didn’t really know what it would be until I got in there.”

With a small crew of volunteers and riggers, Patterson spent eight days assembling the inaugural part of the project: It took four days to attach the ribbons to the ropes from which they are suspended, two days to get the ropes in place in the church’s attic, and two more days to finesse the ribbons to look just right. (According to Patterson, once unfurled, almost a fifth of the ribbons had knots or tangles.)

In June, Patterson completed the second phase – adding 473 pink, red and burgundy ribbons to the ropes.

The additional ribbons allowed for an interactive element, which was important to the artist: Members of the community attended workshops where they wrote their “dreams, prayers and wishes” on the ribbons, says Patterson. “Their prayers are now floating in the cathedral. And since they’re at the top, there’s still this sense of anonymity and privacy.”

In October, for the third component of her residency – “Seeing the Voice: State of Grace” – Patterson teamed up with composer and conductor Paul Haas and artist, projection designer and filmmaker Adam Larsen.

Haas, who is a former Grace Cathedral chorister and attended the Cathedral School for Boys, created a one-time showing of a 70-minute musical installation.

Film still showing

Visitors can still enjoy Larsen’s film, which is scheduled to play in the afternoons until mid-January. It includes video and still footage of dancers, doves, trees, waves and paintings by Patterson, projected onto a series of 13 panels that she refers to as “string curtains.”

“The projected images are held on the panels, yet also pass through them on to the ribbons and church architecture,” she says. “It has this ephemeral feel.”

Once “Graced With Light” comes to a close, Patterson hopes to use parts of it to construct a new art piece for the cathedral. She is still mulling over ideas, such as a sculpture comprised of some of the ribbons woven together.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t want to see it go away,” Shaw says, “but, you know, everything has its life.”



Graced With Light: Installation on view through Feb. 28. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., San Francisco. Sunday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Monday-Wednesday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. (415)

Anh-Minh Le is a freelance writer. E-mail:

Yoga for Change

A special thanks to everyone who supported Yoga for Change!  We raised over $12,000 to help underprivileged children go to preschool!

This is exactly why we do yoga—so that we can be agents of change in the world!

Yoga for Change Benefit at Grace Cathedral

   Yogathon_logo_final  Join the yoga community at Grace Cathedral for an inspiring morning of yoga, as we raise funds for The Community Preschool, an extraordinary, high quality early childhood program for 21 children that changes lives by providing seven full scholarships each year to preschoolers who reside in the Tenderloin and other at-risk city neighborhoods, and seven partial scholarships to other low-income students. Hosted by renowned yoga teacher and author Darren Main, this festive yet meaningful event is an opportunity for community-minded yogis of all levels to transform the life of a child, while transforming themselves.

When:  Saturday, September 7, 2013,  9:00 AM

Registration fee: $20  (registration launches July 15)

Event sponsorship opportunities are available from $500 to $2,500. Please contact Canon Director of Development, Katherine Thompson or 415-749-6313.


Prayers, Ribbons & Art

May 14, 2013
Make your prayers part of Graced with Light

Artist Anne Patterson’s music-inspired installation envisions a series of light pathways, connecting heaven and earth, manifest as ribbons. The ribbons carry our prayers, dreams and wishes skyward, and, in turn, grace streams down the ribbons to us.

Graced With Light is constructed of nearly 20 miles of ribbon and has been hand-assembled by Ms. Patterson and the Grace Cathedral community. The piece will grow and change over the coming months, and will be on view through the summer.

Before and after yoga on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, you are invited to write your prayers and intentions on red and pink ribbons before these ribbons are incorporated into the installation. I hope you will add your own prayers.