World of Darkness: Aeon

World of Darkness: Aeon / Cities / San Francisco / Places of Power / Grace Cathedral

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Grace Cathedral


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

-King James Bible

Grace Cathedral is an historic Episcopal church, located at 1100 California St. in the Nob Hill neighborhood. The chantry grounds encompass a large square containing the cathedral, a courtyard, a religious school, a chapter house and the Diocesan House. While the majority of these properties are open to the public, each of the buildings contains private areas which are only accessible to chantry members. The chantry's public interaction creates a unique set of circumstances for the Choristers. On the one hand, they have responsibilities as a public institution, and the presence of Sleepers puts a limit on vulgar magick. On the other hand, that same public status is part of what protects them and allows them to wield an unparalleled level of influence within the community. Grace Cathedral (founded in 1849) is the oldest continuously operating chantry in the Bay Area. They maintain a strong policy of tolerance and acceptance, both as a church and a chantry. While the chantry belongs to the Celestial Chorus, they open their doors to all who wish to hear the Song.

The Cathedral

The chantry's dominant landmark is, of course, the cathedral: a towering stone structure with vaulted ceilings, wooden pews and beautiful stained glass windows. The chantry works with local artists to display a rotation of art installations within the cathedral. Walking inside, one might be greeted by the site of hanging murals, colorful ribbons, a brilliant light display, or any number of other creative mediums. The Chapel of Grace (Southwest ground level) is the oldest part of the cathedral, and the small but notable AIDS Interfaith Memorial Chapel (North Tower lobby) houses an altarpiece created by Keith Haring. The chantry's node is located within the cathedral, with its source point at the labyrinth.

The cathedral is open to the public from 8:00am to 7:00pm on Sunday, and 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Saturday. Chantry members may access the cathedral at any time. For obvious reasons, Awakened business and vulgar magick are limited to off hours.

Chapel of Grace

Nativity Chapel

AIDS Interfaith Memorial Chapel

Stained Glass


Cathedral School for Boys

The Cathedral School for Boys is an independent K-8 Episcopal boys' school, founded in 1957 and located in the building on the Northwest corner of the square. While the school is connected to the chantry, it is predominantly run by Consors as a mundane educational and religious institution. However, if a particularly bright student seems to exhibit the potential for Awakening, the staff will quietly encourage them along this path.

Chapter House

The Chapter House, connected to the school and located on the North side of the property across from the cathedral, offers a dining hall and rooms for various meetings, activities and events. Senior services are offered through the Chapter House, as is the church's daycare program. The second floor is outfitted with temporary living quarters for those in need of shelter, while the third floor houses on-site staff and clergy. The staff floor is closed to visitors and protected by magickal wards.

Episcopal Diocese of California

The Diocesan House, a private building located on the Northeast end of the property, is the only building on chantry grounds that's completely closed to the public. It houses the Bishop (a high-ranking Chorister who oversees the Episcopal Diocese in California) and the Dean, as well as a couple of other senior chantry members. In addition to these modest living quarters, the Diocesan building houses the library and other chantry resources.

First Floor

  • Kitchen and dining area.
  • Living room.
  • Bathroom.
  • Office of the Bishop.
  • Office of the Dean.
  • Additional offices.
  • Meeting and conference room.
  • Ritual and prayer space.
  • Healing room (beds for the wounded and weary.)
  • Storage room.

Second Floor

  • Bishop's living quarters.
  • Dean's living quarters.
  • Additional bedrooms.
  • Additional bathrooms.
  • Chantry Library.

Services and Outreach

Grace Cathedral offers regular church services and sermons throughout the week, including Holy Eucharist, Choral Eucharist, Morning and Evening Prayer, Choral Evensong and a Wednesday evening Contemporary Worship. Music is an integral part of worship in Grace Cathedral and the church incorporates it into many of their services.

Sunday Services

8:30 am – Holy Eucharist

A simple service with hymns in the Chapel of Grace that lasts about 60 minutes.

11:00 am – Choral Eucharist

A service in grand cathedral style that includes rich musical offerings by the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys and the cathedral's famous organ. This service lasts about 75 to 90 minutes.

3:00 pm – Choral Evensong

Evensong is a beautiful Anglican tradition featuring ethereal music. You can hear Evensong at 3 pm on Sundays from October through May and year-round on Thursdays at 5:15 pm. Sunday Evensong is sung by the Cathedral Camerata in the Chapel of Grace and lasts about 40 minutes.

6:00 pm – Holy Eucharist on the Labyrinth

The cathedral hold this more informal and intimate Eucharist with hymns in the round on the indoor labyrinth; it lasts about 60 minutes.

Weekday Services

7:30 am – The Holy Eucharist (Thursdays only)

9:00 am – Morning Prayer

12:10 pm – The Holy Eucharist

5:15 pm – Choral Evensong (Thursdays) | Evening Prayer (Except Thursdays)

Wednesday Services

6:30 pm – The Vine: Contemporary Worship

Saturday Services

9:00 am – Morning Prayer

3:00 pm – Evening Prayer

Classes

Grace Cathedral offers classes on religious and spiritual subjects to both adults and children. Classes delve into a wide variety of subjects and include lectures, book study and bible study. They also offer foundational studies and training for those who wish to join the ministry.

Youth Programs

The church offers a number of popular youth and children's services, including Daycare, Godly Play, Youth Group, and Grace Quest, an interactive educational program.

Social Justice and Outreach

One of Grace Cathedral's central missions is that of social justice and community outreach. The chantry is heavily involved in volunteering, fundraising and community organizing. Some of their more prominent projects include:

  • Citizen Awareness (politics and civil discourse)
  • Climate Change
  • Gender Justice (opposing sexism, homophobia and transphobia)
  • Gun Violence
  • Racial Justice
  • Senior Care and Advocacy

Additionally, volunteers can get involved with one of the chantry's many community service efforts:

  • Bayview Mission (provides services, food and supplies to the Bayview-Hunter's Point neighborhoods.)
  • Dinner with Grace (preparing meals for the homeless.)
  • Jail Ministry (offering religious services through the SF County jail system.)
  • Stitching Ministry (crafting hand-knit and crocheted items for those in need of warmth.)
  • Winter Interfaith Shelter (provides beds and meals to homeless men during the winter months.)

Music and Art

Music plays an integral role in worship at Grace Cathedral. Visitors come from all over the Bay Area and beyond to hear the Choir of Men and Boys (an institution as old as the church itself) and the impressive Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. Christmas Concerts at the Cathedral are a beloved San Francisco tradition. There's also the Cathedral Camerata, a mixed-voice ensemble that sings a diverse repertoire of choral literature from classical to modern.

In addition to its music, every year the Cathedral hosts an artist in residence. Artists come from a wide range of backgrounds, from visual arts to poetry. They work with the Cathedral to highlight the church's vision. The Cathedral also hosts a number of art exhibits throughout the year, some of which are quite elaborate.

Yoga

Every Tuesday, the Cathedral hosts a popular yoga class that's free to the public. Participants gather around the Labyrinth with their colorful mats to practice a different kind of spirituality. In the process, they bask in and strengthen the Node's energy.


Library

A large portion of the second floor of the Diocesan House is devoted to the chantry library. The decor in the library is antique and elegant, with small touches of religious iconography. The atmosphere is warm and reflective, and the books they have on offer cover a wide range of spiritual texts, from archaic to modern. Although the church is formally Episcopal, many different beliefs are represented in the library's texts. The library is accessible to all chantry members. Visitors may also use the library, with permission from a senior member.

Rating: 5


Node

Located within the Cathedral, the chantry's Node is centered on the church's indoor labyrinth: a large, meditative piece of art meant to inspire peaceful reflection. The labyrinth is part of the cathedral's floor design, and is located near the front entrance. Light from the stained glass windows shines down onto the labyrinth in beautiful prismatic colors, merging with the node's energy. This Node is public and accessible to all. Prayer and meditation from the cathedral's congregation help to replenish the Node's energy. It is said that walking the Labyrinth will provide peace and insight.

Due to its nature and location, this Node does not regularly produce Tass. Most of its energy is stored in free-flowing Quintessence. However, it will occasionally spawn a large amount of Tass overnight (when Sleepers are not there to witness the event.) When this occurs, it is considered an auspicious occasion. Tass can appear in a few different forms: either as holy water in the nearby Baptismal font, as prayer candles, or as shards of holy light. Tass, when it appears, is collected quickly in the morning and stored away.

The chantry does not restrict Node access. Those in need may take what they require. However, there is an unspoken understanding among the local Choristers not to abuse this privilege. For the most part, mages here are fair and considerate. Those who do not respect the Node, or who drain more than their share without just cause, may suffer karmic consequences. As a rule, visitors do not take more than 2 Quintessence and/or Tass per week unless necessity calls for more.

Rating: 6

Quintessence: 60 per week (8-9 per day.)

Resonance: Peaceful, Restorative

Casting Modifier: -3 anywhere in the Cathedral, -2 everywhere else on chantry grounds, -1 anywhere within a 1-block radius.


Accessibility and Defense

As previously mentioned, the majority of chantry-grounds is open to the public. As such, they do not maintain any kind of Arcane or other defenses meant to disguise the property or discourage entry, except around the Diocesan building and the third floor of the Chapter House (the only private areas.) These areas are protected by a Mind effect that discourages unlawful entry from Sleepers, and Wards are in place to ensure safety and privacy. The closed areas of the chantry are accessible only to Choristers and invited guests. Anyone is welcome on the rest of the grounds, provided it is during business hours.

The chantry is guarded by various subtle magickal defenses which will alert the guardians if any harm is committed towards the property or anyone on it. There is also a spirit guardian that lives in the cathedral. This celestial being refers to herself as Muriel and is a spirit of angelic origin. She does not often appear outright, but it is not uncommon for visitors to claim they felt a loving, divine presence. Sometimes at dawn, her ethereal song can be heard echoing through the cathedral.

Anyone whose character attempts to go up against the Chantry's defenses should contact the ST.


Notable NPCs

Bishop: Marion Lightwood

Dean (Deacon): Gabriel Young

Librarian: James Abbott

Healer: Imogen Evans

Music Director: Carla Vidal

Social Justice and Outreach Minister: Rafael Martìnez

Youth Pastor: Hope Bennett

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