Coinciding with the opening of a new performing arts season, Trinity Cathedral offers its annual Blessing of the Artists event. Father Paul Johnston, an artist-lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music and a priest at the Cathedral, will officiate. Canon Catherine Brall, the Provost of Trinity Cathedral, will give a short sermon. Trinity Cathedral is located at 328 Sixth Avenue downtown.


Music will be by opera baritone Daniel Teadt. This year’s “Best of the ‘Burgh” issue of Pittsburgh Magazine names Teadt the Best Local Artist of 2010. For the Blessing of the Artists, he will offer works by Leonard Bernstein and more. Daniel Teadt has lent his darkly resonant baritone not only to such regional productions as the Pittsburgh Opera’s acclaimed Billy Budd, but also to the companies of the New York City Opera and San Francisco Opera, among others.

The Blessing of the Artists will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, September 29 in downtown Pittsburgh’s Trinity Cathedral. It is a simple 45- to 50-minute liturgy inspired by the Cathedral’s Anglican heritage. But it is intended for all artists, as the service is sensitive to the diversity of our arts community.

The Blessing is targeted for professionals, students, dedicated amateurs in the arts, and for those who are their patrons and audience. These include performers, visual artists in commercial and fine art, writers, architects, arts educators, arts administrators and promoters, and those in the culinary arts. “We welcome all who love the arts, because we’d like to demonstrate the region’s solidarity behind our cultural community,” says Cn. Brall.

The climax of the brief liturgy is a blessing by water—a light sprinkling known historically as aspersion.

For the Blessing, artists are encouraged to bring tools or symbols of their professions or avocations—instruments, paintbrushes, cameras, mouthpieces, reeds, drumsticks, ballet slippers, drama masks, laptop computers, chef’s toques, etc. In the past, this feature of the Blessing of the Artists has been a source of creativity and even amusement.

After the Blessing proper, there is an opportunity to remain for healing prayers. “Artists mediate psychic and physical healing,” says Fr. Johnston. “But it’s not without risk to their own well-being. This is our opportunity to address their needs for healing.”

The 5:00 p.m. time allows for artists to stop by at the end of work or rehearsals, but to be out in time for dinner, family obligations, and evening performances.

Trinity Cathedral is located downtown at 328 Sixth Avenue, bordering the Cultural District. The landmark building has a 138-year history. It is the congregation’s third structure, built on property from an 18th-Century land grant from the William Penn family. The grounds include an historic, colonial-era burial ground.

For those attending the Blessing of the Artists, one can enter from either the Sixth Ave. or handicap-accessible Oliver Ave. entrances.

Parking is available at low evening rates nearby in the Oliver Garage and the Mellon Square Garage. Trinity Cathedral is only a five-minute walk from the Theatre Square Garage.

–Primary contact: Fr. Paul Johnston, Trinity Cathedral
(412) 482-2986 cell anytime
(412) 232-6404 ext. 128, T, F
(412) 422-7776, M, W, Th

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