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Cathedral in the Night’s leader is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, a socially progressive Lutheran denomination; however Cathedral in the Night does not adhere strictly to any particular denomination’s practices. As an ecumenical ministry, it uses weekly lectionary readings from the Bible, uses Lutheran versions of Christian prayers, and has communion. The Cathedral in the Night service varies from more traditional liturgical services in several ways. It calls on members of the community to participate by reading prayers and readings, such as the Serenity Prayer. The pastor offers a very short, informal sermon and then asks for comments by the congregation, thus allowing for the co-construction of the sermon. Another unique aspect of Cathedral is their offering. Rather than asking for money, Cathedral asks people to share what spiritual offering they can make to God or the community.
Cathedral in the Night emulates many ELCA foci in its practice. Through its worship, structure, and language, it focuses on community, inclusivity, and service to others. These are themes held similarly across many progressive Protestants and other religious groups, but are especially emphasized by liberal Lutherans.
The current congregation of Cathedral in the Night is composed of both housed and unhoused people. There are people who come every week and people that periodically volunteer. There are also ministry partners from other churches and student volunteers and interns that work with Cathedral. The congregants of Cathedral in the Night embody a range of backgrounds, socioeconomic groups, and religious beliefs. There is also an emphasis on accessibility; Cathedral brings worship and service to people. It also does this by serving a meal; this is the only free hot meal served in Northampton on Sundays and is a primary way Cathedral develops community.