Sometimes, the most beautiful moments in life are the ones that just happen to come upon you. Sometimes, the unexpected brings the most wonderful surprises. This was my Sunday, at Grace Church on 802 Broadway.
I had seen the church once before, after spending an afternoon rummaging through the used books at Strand Bookstore. It is a remarkably beautiful church. A classic Gothic revivalist building, with tall grey spires patrolling the perimeter of the church, intricate masonry etched inside and out, and beautiful stained-glass decorating the interior; the church, surrounded by the rectory and chantry on either side, feels a little like a Disney castle. When I walked into the courtyard of the rectory, I felt like a little kid again pretending I had stumbled upon an enchanted castle in the forest. Grace Church seems lost in time, misplaced among the modern hubbub of New York. But as I discovered, the church is a place of respite from the chaos.
Similar to my experience at Our Lady of Pompeii, music enveloped the space I was visiting, totally taking me unawares. Grace church is known for it’s music and I had happen to come unexpectedly on a day where their organist was holding a small concert. Immediately I thought yes, let’s do this! and took my seat in the pews among the small audience.
I don’t have much familiarity with organ music, but I always considered it to be quite dark and dour. But that day, the music was bright and lively, though powerful still, shaking the church columns; in my mind, the music felt like the torrential rains that come before spring, and then after everything is fresh and new and green. The music was heralding the changing seasons (which is trying so hard to come in NY!).
It was a very beautiful and unexpectedly moment to have that day. I left feeling so grateful that I was given such a wonderful, reflective time in such a beautiful, and enchanting space. I wish I could live there and enact all my fairy princess fantasies – alas, it cannot be! The church is quite the stunner though, and well worth a visit. Every afternoon during the week, the church holds a small recital of Bach and on Sundays at 4pm, larger performances are conducted. Above is the recording I took of the finale song; I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Be sure to check out more photos in the gallery below and to check out my instagram!