Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
4.5
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
6:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Downtown
How to get there
  • Farragut North • 6 min walk
  • Farragut West • 8 min walk
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles109 reviews
Excellent
69
Very good
34
Average
5
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Traveller
New York City, NY3,239 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
I visited Saint Matthew's Cathedral in October 2021. It is not far from Connecticut Avenue and Dupont Circle. The cathedral is beautiful. The interior is very rich with a beautiful altar, paintings, decorations and many other things. I hope to return so I can attend mass here. The cathedral is important in history because the funeral mass for JFK was held here.
Written 16 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
Los Angeles, CA8,793 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Solo
I recall grainy b&w tv coverage of President Kennedy's funeral mass from this church. The first time I visited, I was a wide-eyed high school student on a class visit. Since then, I've returned each trip and have been to mass several times. It's a gorgeous, peaceful spot. On this Sunday, I witnessed the joyful baptism of a sweet little girl.

Just across the road, and worth a look, is a memorial to the Nuns of the Battlefield, honoring the brave sisters who assisted the troops during the Civil War.
Written 22 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gooner10-8
Dublin, Ireland1,946 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Solo
The original Church of St. Matthew was built in this neighbourhood, way back in 1840, but the present elaborate and beautiful Cathedral was constructed between 1893 and 1913. In 1939, it became the official seat (or main Church) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. Extensive restoration and renovation works were completed in the first three years of this century, and the benefits of such works surely show in the fine Church you see to-day.

Walking up from the Farragut North Metro Station, I visited St. Matthew's, as I strongly suspect many do, because of a famous Funeral Service conducted here in 1963 : that of assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Television cameras put a spotlight on the Cathedral which it surely had never previously experienced.

How that particular Funeral Service came to be held here is interesting. The Church Authorities (and others) had favoured use of a much larger, more modern Church, in north-eastern Washington - as one writer put it, some, at least, viewed St. Matthew's as being "shabby, ageing, unsplendid, unadorned by artistic treasures", in sharp contrast with their preferred venue.

Mrs Kennedy was insistent that the funeral cortege for the deceased President should proceed on foot : St. Matthew's location was a manageable distance. In addition, she had fond memories of attending Religious Services, with her Husband, in the more intimate surroundings of St. Matthew's (It's just seven Blocks north, and two Blocks west of The White House). The views of Mrs. Kennedy eventually prevailed, drawing worldwide attention to this Cathedral.

There are many memorable scenes from the President's Funeral Service, held at St. Matthew's on November 25th, 1963 - you can still view it online, by the way. I'm old enough to have actually seen President Kennedy, when he visited Ireland, earlier the same year, and I recall his Funeral quite well. I especially remember how the presiding Minister (Cardinal Cushing of Boston, a Kennedy Family Friend), at the end of a very solemn Service, more simply declared "May the angels, dear Jack, lead you into Paradise...", and shortly afterwards went to embrace the Kennedys' young Daughter, Caroline. Shortly thereafter, as the bereaved Kennedy Family stood at the bottom of the Cathedral steps, young John Kennedy gave his now famous Salute to his Father's Coffin.

So much for then. Whether or not the Kennedy Funeral interests you, St. Matthew's is indeed a beautiful Church to see to-day. In my view, its red brick exterior is not particularly appealing, but the inside has a warm feeling to it. The Church is in the shape of a Latin Cross, and is richly decorated in marble & semi-precious stones. There's an extremely impressive Mural of St. Matthew, behind the Main Altar, and the Dome rises almost 200 ft. above the nave. (There are also some interesting, elaborately decorated, "Side Altars")

I had timed my visit to coincide with the conducting of a Service : a week-day Roman Catholic Mass, commencing just after mid-day. There were quite a few people present for this relatively short ceremony (apparently timed to fit-in with attendees' lunch-breaks), and many participated in taking Communion. I found this ceremony, simply conducted by a visiting Priest (Reverend Fr. Klinsky, I think), in elaborate, but warm surroundings, to be quite a moving experience.

When the Service was over, I rambled around the Cathedral, and took some Photos. There's a marble plaque, in front of the Main Altar, marking the spot where President Kennedy's casket rested during the Funeral Service in 1963, and obviously, I paid particular attention to this.

I also visited the Cathedral's "Rectory", which is almost next door, as I wanted to purchase a copy of a Booklet I had noticed in a display-case in the Church. Here I was received by an absolutely lovely member of the Parish administrative staff, a lady called Monica - we had a great chat, about the Cathedral, the Parish, and of course, the Kennedy Funeral. Many thanks to Monica for her friendly welcome - she also gave me helpful directions as to the shortest route back to Farragut North Metro Station.

A memorable visit to the highly-impressive St. Matthew's Cathedral !
Written 16 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JulesC75
Glasgow, UK21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Friends
This is a beautiful Cathedral tucked away on Rhode Island Ave, it is a must see for any JFK admirers as it was the chapel he was buried from and the sight that John F Kennedy Jr gave that famous salute to his fathers coffin, there is a lovely marker at the front of the alter where JFKs coffin sat.
Written 2 September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joe W
Pittsburgh, PA91 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
There is beautiful art and architecture to enjoy inside this Catholic Cathedral. Beautiful mosaics, lovely sculptures in niches, and tasteful signs explaining what you are seeing in each area. This particular cathedral is where the funeral Mass for president Kennedy was held.
Written 26 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Simon M
Cambridge, UK213 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018
Sunday high mass here is at 10:00 am (Latin) and 11:30 am (English). The Schola puts on a great show here, with motets, anthems, hymns and so on, performed to the highest standard. The organ is one of the finest in the nation. The interior of this vast church is decorated in glittering mosaics that blend the English Arts and Crafts movement with the traditions fo Ravenna Italy. We recommend you arrive 15 minutes before mass in order to get yourself nicely seated to the front right, near to the organ and the Schola. If you are going at a major feast such as Easter Sunday get there 30 minutes early to join the queue. All visitors re very warmly welcomed here. A moving experience. This is the church where the funeral of JFK took place. It is on the register of National Historic Monuments. Nearest metros Farragut North and Dupont Circle. In the winter months you might like to go to a nearby restaurant for brunch; we like doing that -- but do plan ahead. If you have found this review helpful I would find a vote from you encouraging.
Written 17 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gooner10-8
Dublin, Ireland1,946 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
I first came here in 2016, conscious of the unique place St. Matthew's holds in American History : it was the scene, in 1963, of the Funeral Service of the assassinated 35th President of the U.S., John F. Kennedy - the venue was chosen by his grieving Widow, Jacqueline (see my November, 2016 Review "World Famous for a President's Funeral" on "Trip Advisor").

I have come back here several times since - alone, or with my Wife - for different reasons. This is a beautiful Church (despite its unimpressive exterior), and the atmosphere is truly calming - whether or not you are "religious" (and I'm not particularly so).

To fully appreciate a Church such as this, it probably helps to visit during a Religious Service : there's a Roman Catholic Mass, most days, around 12 mid-day, which I have found a very convenient time to visit.

This time around, the Roman Catholic Mass had a particular focus : it was part of a "Season of Healing", apparently focused on recognizing - at least to some degree - the innumerable, vicious, unpardonable abuses many have, inexcusably, experienced at the unarguably cruel hands of those holding (Church) Ministerial Office.

It was not, as I quickly discovered, a normal "Mass" : there was more than one "Celebrant" (the main one being the outgoing Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington, DC, Donald Wuerl), and the ordinary rituals/procedures had been supplemented with additional singing, etc. While feeling considerably uncomfortable with the as yet unsatisfactory responses to the "Abuse" scandals, I nevertheless found this ceremony, in these surroundings, very peaceful - perhaps, I was meant to feel that way?

When the Mass Service was concluded, Cardinal Woerl stood at the bottom of the Church, to interact with whomsoever wished to engage with him : I said "Hello" and, for what it was worth, wished him well...
Written 13 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FAMILYTRAVELER07
Albany, NY161 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
I attended Sunday mass at this gem of a Cathedral. Kudos to the organist and cantor for the excellent sacred music. Catholic or not, I believe any visitor would be impressed by the elegance of this space. I suggest picking up a brochure at the entrance which provides info for a self-guided tour.
Written 7 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LolaGo1
Washington DC, DC6,628 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Solo
Looking at the various items listed in TripAdvisor's "To Do" list for Washington, DC, I recently learned that the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle is a tourist spot in the city and is currently ranked at #55 by Tripadvisor Reviewers.

I felt compelled to visit this Cathedral since this is where I got married and to see any changes that had been done since that time. I also wanted to take and add pictures of the Cathedral, (particularly those taken outside) in this review so Tripadvisor readers would be encouraged to visit it.

The Cathedral is as beautiful as I remembered it. Mosaic, colorful "pictures" of St. Matthews and the other apostles are depicted at the walls and ceilings near the Altar. There are 2 chapels located at the right side of the Cathedral: the Wedding Chapel (my wedding venue) and the one devoted to St. Francis. The latter has beautiful frescoes and his famous statements carved on the walls. Located between these 2 chapels is the big organ.

Tips: Go visit this Cathedral when you're in Washington, DC. Take the Metro and exit either at the Farragut North Station, Farragut West Station, or the Dupont Circle Station. It is about 5-10 minute walk from these stations. The Cathedral is located on Rhode Island Avenue (between L and M Streets), with Connecticut Avenue as the main thoroughfare.

Note that everyone is welcome at the Cathedral, regardless of your religious affiliations!
Written 27 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brendan S
Arlington, VA2,097 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Solo
St. Matthew's Cathedral does not have an impressive facade; a fact that made me surprised at the gorgeous interior. Massive Romanesque arches, a soaring dome, Byzantine-style mosaics, marble everywhere, and a large pipe organ stand out. There are also impressive side chapels decorated with murals that were lovingly built by local artisans. The cathedral is over a century old, but all the surfaces shine like they are brand new. While American cathedrals in general are not as massive as European cathedrals, St. Matthews certainly evokes some of them.

St. Matthews is probably most famous for hosting the funeral of John F. Kennedy, and there is an inscription in the floor in front of the altar commemorating that funeral. Several other funerals of famous people have been held at the cathedral, and both of the last two popes have visited it.

You can take a nice self-guided tour of the Cathedral in less than a half an hour, and it's definitely worth doing so if you are in DuPont Circle.
Written 23 June 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 83
Revenue impacts the experiences featured on this page, learn more.
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, Washington DC

All Washington DC HotelsWashington DC Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Washington DC
All things to do in Washington DC
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire