Visitors and Tours

A Word from the Cardinal

"What sets the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle apart from the many other historical, artistic and architectural wonders in the capital city of our nation is the encounter one has with God and the opportunity to be transformed in His presence that this extraordinary building offers. People come to the Cathedral primarily for this reason, to have their minds and hearts lifted to God. Visitors recognize God’s presence in the saints and angels depicted in brilliant mosaics, murals and statues, or in the voices of the Cathedral’s magnificent Schola Cantorum. The faithful encounter God in the proclamation of His Word, receive His transforming grace in the sacraments, and in the Eucharist unite themselves with Jesus Christ in the Paschal Mystery. Each person who enters the Cathedral is invited into the experience of God’s kingdom being manifested in our world in word, deed, art and beauty. Thus, the Cathedral is truly a place where all can find peace, solitude in prayer and community in worship."

                                                     —Donald Cardinal Wuerl
                                                        Archbishop of Washington

All Are Welcome!

People from around the United States and around the world visit the Cathedral to join our parish community at Mass, to tour the Cathedral or simply to stop in for prayer in solitude. Individuals, families and groups are invited to schedule a guided tour of the Cathedral (see below) or to take a self-guided tour. If your parish or school group is planning to attend Mass, feel free to call ahead so that we can welcome you from the pulpit. If your group includes Catholic clergy, let us know so that we can extend an invitation to concelebrate or serve at Mass.  View our Mass schedule.

Guest Music GroupsSt. John's University (Collegeville, MN) Men's Choir 2

Choirs and instrumental groups (local, national and international) have participated in Cathedral liturgies and given special concerts. Find out more about Guest Concerts.

Guided Tours

[title]Individuals, families or groups who wish to have a guided tour of the Cathedral and learn about its history, art and architecture are encouraged to schedule a tour conducted by one of our volunteer tour guides. Visitors also are welcome to take a self-guided tour using the color brochures available at the inside entrance to the Cathedral, beneath the guest registers. 

School and Parish Pilgrimages

A pilgrimage may be appropriate for school groups, especially those preparing for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Parish groups such as the Sodality, Holy Names Society, Knights of Columbus, or certain parish ministries such as servers, lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion or ushers might form a pilgrimage group.  Learn more about planning a pilgrimage to the Cathedral.  


To notify us of your group's visit or to arrange a guided tour or pilgrimage, please contact Dan Evans at the rectory (202-347-3215 or