National Cathedral cancels public worship services for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns

The Washington National Cathedral is canceling all public worship services and normal parish operations within the Episcopal Diocese of Washington for two weeks amid coronavirus concerns. The information was first reported in The Washington Post.

Bishop of Washington Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde says the cancelation will go into effect Thursday and continue through March 29.

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The Washington National Cathedral is pictured on Sunday, August 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

On March 25, officials will assess the situation to determine if the cathedral and parishes are safe to reopen. 

Officials say all members of the diocese are invited to join the cathedral for online and virtual worship services on Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 22.

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"My goal in canceling services and providing a virtual option for all in the diocese is to free up the time and energy of clergy and lay leadership across the diocese to assess the pastoral needs of your people and to reach out to civic partners, so that we aid in the care of our communities," said Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde.