Altar in the World: A Pre-Thanksgiving Offering of Service and Prayer

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 10–11:30 A.M. (mini-pilgrimage), 12 P.M. (prayer service)

Watch video of the concluding prayer service:

Service Leaflet

As the season changes and the weather becomes colder, Saint Mark’s offers an opportunity to remember and be of service to those in our community who lack safe and secure shelter. Participants will create small care packages, known as “Manna Bags,” containing items that people experiencing homelessness themselves have said are most useful to them. The act of assembling these bags will be an opportunity to prayerfully reflect upon our responsibility to serve Christ in all people, and to respect the dignity of all our neighbors. This offering includes three parts. Community members of all ages are welcome to participate in any or all of the following, as they feel able.


Parishioners are invited to contribute monetarily to the creation of the care packages, which will include wool-blend socks, soft, high-calorie foods, hand wipes, bottled water, feminine products, a washcloth, liquid body soap, and more. Please make your financial donation between October 31 and November 10 by check mailed to the cathedral (please write “Manna Bag Project” in the memo line), Venmo mobile app, or online at (choose “Manna Bag Project” from the list of options).


On Saturday, November 14, arrive at the cathedral between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to help assemble the bags at various stations located around the cathedral campus. At each station, participants will add items to their Manna Bag, and then be invited into a prayerful reflection. Participants must register in advance, and remain masked and distanced from others at all times. At the final station, the completed bags will be blessed for use. Participants may take their bag with them to give to a neighbor themselves, or leave it at Saint Mark’s to be distributed by Community Lunch ministry on Capitol Hill. Pre-register for the prayer pilgrimage HERE.


At 12 p.m. a brief service of Noonday Prayer will be offered on the labyrinth to conclude the event. Again, registration, masks, and distancing must be observed by all. You are welcome to register to attend the prayer service whether or not you wish to participate in the pilgrimage around the campus. Register HERE.

A prayer from the concluding liturgy:

Our God, we pray for fierce protection over the 3.5 million of Your beloved children who are homeless in the richest nation on earth—where there are 18.5 million vacant homes. For the willingness of Your church to serve the poor in boldness in this moment of profound crisis—despite an earthly empire that would rather abandon Your unhoused children to fend for themselves during a plague with no running water, no heat, no restrooms, no access to healthcare, no shelter, no safety. For the humility of Your church to once again trust the poor, accept the authority of the poor, and nurture the leadership of the poor as we did back in the church of Acts 2.

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