St James Cathedral Seattle Washington

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A Good Friday at St James Cathedral

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Today my day started with a visit to downtown Seattle. On Good Friday, I went to visit St James Cathedral. My visit meant a lot to me, it was a stroll down memory lane.

The Seattle Diocese’ Cathedral, St James is where I was married. It is as pretty as any cathedral in Europe. I believe many of my best journeys are local. My local treks take me back through my memories. Going to St James made me realize, sometimes I take the simplest things for granted. If you haven’t seen this beautiful church, take a trip to visit it. I especially recommend going on Good Friday to St James Cathedral to see the Stations of the Cross. No communion today because this is a solemn day of remembrance –  a Good Friday.

Good Friday Visit to St James Cathedral Seattle Washington

I decided to make this trip to St James because recently I had gone to Jerusalem. When I was there, I saw  Gethsemane, the site of the Last Super, Christ’s jail cell, Via Dolorosa, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Wikipedia – Easter is different for me now because of what I experienced in Jerusalem. I wondered if visiting a Catholic Chruch would evoke the deep emotions, I felt in Israel?

My Good Friday Experience

Christ Last Super Room

The room of the Last Super is now a Muslim Mosque, for Jews the Tomb of King David and for Christians the place of Christ and the disciples Last Super. I went here many times, and every time I went to the room many people were crying out loud. It was a somber place and uncontrollable emotions.

The Garden of Gethsemane

Garden of Gethsemane


Gethsemane of Garden

The garden is the location where the disciples waited for the Romans and Juda to come and take Jesus to jail.

 Via Dolorosa

The Via Dolorosa is the route Christ took to the Cross on Good Friday. Imagine the streets lined with spectators. Imagine the crowds, the suffering, and the inevitableness of the situation. For me, Good Friday is a day of sorrow and remembrance.

Via Dolorosa Christ footsteps

Road to the Cross

Via Dolorosa is the road where Christ carried the Cross

Died, Washed and Laid to Rest

After the crucifixion, Christ body was laid to rest but was washed, preparing the body for burial. The painting shows the ritual and process but being there captures the emotions that are felt by visitors. When I think of Good Friday – I can’t help but remember all of this no matter where I am.

Station 9 washed after Crucifixion

Christ last washed Jerusalem

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Next, they carried Christ’s body to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here is where Christ was prepared for burial and laid to rest. He was buried here at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. To everyone’s surprise, the tomb was found empty on Easter Sunday. From the burial spot at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is where Christ rose. (Catholic, Orthodox, and Coptics believe, Protestants believe it was in a different outdoor spot)

Christ rests Holy Sepulchre Church

 St James Cathedral Visit

I wondered if St James Cathedral would look different to me.

St James Cathedral Seattle

Arriving at St James Cathedral on Good Friday I found parking, so I thought the church was empty. I walked up the steps and down the hallway. The absolute silence made the entrance seem abandoned. It was spooky how very quiet it was. I didn’t think anyone was there. Honestly, it seemed locked up. No music played, not a sound could be heard except for my squeaky sneakers.

St James Cathedral Seattle

But, when I opened the doors, inside the Cathedral a solemn rite was underway. It was the beginning of the Stations of the Cross in remembrance of Christ suffering and sacrifice in memory of His Passion of the Cross.

St James Cathedral Seattle

There was no communion during the service. I heard only soft prayers. Just silence and the solitude in mourning. Looking back at my time in Jerusalem, it felt almost the same as it did inside the Cathedral. My experience in Jerusalem changed me forever and changed the meaning of Good Friday too.

St James Cathedral Seattle altar

A travel journey to a favorite place from your past and close to home can be an adventure. If you travel like a tourist in your hometown, you will find some interesting discoveries. Travel locally, it can be a whole new experience just like my Good Friday was for me.

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring new cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour or spicy foods.

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