National Acolyte Festival

Washington National Cathedral

Washington, D.C.

October 5-8, 2017

To watch the video of the 2015 National Acolyte Festival click on the image below.
At 29:00 minutes you will see some of the acolytes from St. Andrew’s Church

Acolyte NAF frontedited

Saint Andrew’s Church of Grand Rapids is excited to announce a trip to the Washington National Cathedral for the National Acolyte Festival from October 5 through 8. They are inviting parishes in the Diocese to join them on this adventure. Planning to travel via deluxe motor coach they will stay at the Holiday Inn Express, Silver Springs for a comfortable stay. A day and a half for exploring the city has been integrated into the itinerary. The site seeing groups will be arranged based on participants interests to include the White House, Smithsonian, and other historic places in our nation’s capital.

Of course the main event is the Acolyte Festival where all acolytes are invited to bring and carry banners, flags, crucifers, streamers, thuribles, and torches to participate in the impressive expansive procession. After the procession and the re-dedication service they will choose from fun workshops including Holy Smoke, Streamers, Vestments, or the Gargoyles of the Cathedral. Before leaving for more DC site seeing they will find the Darth Vader grotesque on the northwest tower of the cathedral, Available seats are first come first serve. All interested acolytes and churches will find trip information and registration forms on the Saint Andrew’s, Grand Rapids web site,, or 616-361-7887.

Download information sheet on trip: National Acolyte Festival Information

Download Registration forms: National Acolyte Festival Registration Forms


The main focus of this trip is to attend the National Acolyte Festival on October 7, 2017 at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. The Trip Committee has obtained monies from the Bishop Whittemore Fund to provide the Charter Bus for the trip. We see this as an opportunity to provide fellowship between people of the churches in our Diocese and experience some of the history and beauty of our nation’s capital. We have incorporated a day and a half of exploration of the Capitol in to this trip to provide more value to the travel time and expense. We look forward to meeting brothers and sisters in Christ as we venture to Washington DC in October. The registration is first come, first serve.

YOUTH PARTICIPANTS – All youth attending must be supervised by an adult from their parish attending the trip. The ratio of Adults to Youth is 1:5. If a parish has an issue securing an adult to attend, the Diocese may be able to help, contact us for information.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION – Registration for this trip is first come first serve.

Registration Form and required deposit – Due as soon as possible to secure each seat.

Friday Site Seeing Preference Form – Due by June 23, 2017, to ensure our Congressional Representative is able to secure our passes for certain tours. Other tours also require advance passes.

Medical/Permission Form and Balance of Payment – Due by September 1, 2017

Forms are available on the Saint Andrew’s, Grand Rapids web site.

Checks should be made to Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and mailed to 1025 Three Mile Road NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505-3419. Forms that do not require money may be emailed to please put Washington Trip in the subject.

Questions may also be e-mailed to this address with the same subject or phone 616-361-7887.

Cost per person for the trip is dependent on the occupancy of the room: Single $465, Double $270, Triple $210, and Quad $180. A deposit is required to secure your seat.

Deposits are non-refundable. The deposit or a portion of the deposit may be refunded if your place is filled by someone else. The amount of the deposit is per person and dependent on the occupancy of the room – Single $115.00, Double $65.00, Triple $50.00, and Quad $50.00.

Occupancy should follow Safeguarding Gods Children guidelines concerning sharing rooms.

TRIP ITINERARY AND INFORMATION- This is tentative, although only small changes are expected.

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 8:00 am – Meet at Saint Andrew’s and load bus.

8:45 am – Depart Saint Andrew’s, Grand Rapids. (We may stop once on the east side of the state if participants are from that area.)

The bus will stop twice at travel rest areas that sell fast food and have restrooms. The 56 passenger motor coach is equipped with a restroom, and a DVD player with monitors. Participants are responsible for their lunch and dinner during the travel.

Thursday 9:00 pm – Arrive at the Holiday Inn Express, Washington DC Silver Spring, 7990 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD 20910. The hotel provides a breakfast buffet each morning which will expedite our departure for the day’s activities.

Friday, October 6, 2017, 7:00 – 8:30 am – Breakfast at the hotel.

8:30 – end of day – Site see – tours of the White House, the Capitol, the U. S. Mint, Smithsonian and other exciting historic places. The committee is determining the best way for us to travel to the Capitol area on Friday. We will either use our charter bus or local bus/trains; the hotel is a very short walk to the train stop. Destinations that are not near the Capitol or across the river will cost each participant that selects those places to visit an extra bus fare. A map/schedule for this travel and tour times, etc. will be available. It is probable that we will be in smaller groups to accommodate the preferences and tour group size limits for the locations. Participants are responsible for their lunch and dinner on Friday.

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 7:00 – 7:50 am – Breakfast at the hotel.

8:00 am – Travel by our motor coach to the National Acolyte Festival at Washington National Cathedral,  Participate in the Festival, Procession, Service, and Workshops, including lunch.

            3:00 – Bus to the Washington Mall – Memorials.

            6:00 – Dinner together.

            ~8:00 – Possible short visit to night site see certain memorials that are spectacular at night on the Washington Mall; then return to 4H Center.

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 7:00 – 8:30 am Breakfast at the hotel.

            9:00 am – our own church service with Father Mike.

            10:00 am – Depart for Michigan, the bus will stop twice, at travel rest areas that sell fast food and have restrooms. Participants are responsible for their lunch and dinner during the travel.


This list is here as a reference of the tours and historical locations we are able to visit. Some of the tours require timed passes that must be attained up to three months in advance. Other places will be available but do not require advance notice and passes. Tour fees will be paid by participants at the gate. Time to eat lunch and travel to locations will affect how many places can be visited. We will be likely be in smaller groups based on our choices. If you really want to go somewhere that is not listed we may be able to include it, please list on form.

International Spy Museum – ($30.00 – 23.00 Adult, $16.00 Youth) – several hours

At the International Spy Museum, there’s something for the spy in all of us. Featuring the world’s largest collection of international espionage artifacts (many of which are now available to the public for the very first time), the Spy Museum brings the world of spycraft to life. Explore dozens of interactive exhibits and discover the power of the James Bond film series in the newest special exhibit, “Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains.”

The Spy Museum is both informative and exciting, dedicated to educating their visitors about espionage through their extensive collections and fascinating exhibits. Learn all about the special techniques of the men and women who worked some of the most pivotal espionage missions in history and explore the tools and technologies that made their missions successful.

Library of Congress – (free) – 60 minutes

Take a free onehour walking tour of this historic building, Jefferson Building, and learn about its history, symbolic art and architecture and the Library’s history and work.

Or take a guided tour on a specific topic or of a Library exhibition. Themes range from music and performing arts to U.S. history and culture.



Newseum – ($26.00 Adult, $16.00 Youth) – several hours

The Newseum as an institution is dedicated solely to the presence and influence of news media in the modern world, it’s both fascinating and thought provoking for visitors of any age. A must-see for any aspiring journalist!

With seven levels and fifteen galleries filled with artifacts, award-winning photos, newspaper clippings, historic documents, and interactive exhibits, the Newseum is practically full to bursting with objects that trace the history of media in the United States and beyond. There’s even a 4-D theater and a number of multimedia galleries.

The Old Post Office and Old Post Office Pavilion Clock – (free) – about ½ hour

The Old Post Office has long been a standout in the DC skyline and you can see its clock tower rising 315′ (96 m), well above most of the surrounding buildings. It now houses the Trump International Hotel. Even though it has been renovated into a luxury hotel, the Old Post Office Pavilion Clock Tower remains open to the public and run by the National Park Service.  And with the closing of the Washington Monument until 2019, this tower provides the visitor with a great (only) alternative for an observation deck.


Pentagon Tour – (free) – 60 minutes

Each tour includes the mission of the Department of Defense and each of its branches of service, and visits numerous displays that highlight and depict significant moments in military history. 1 ½ mile walking.




Smithsonian Air and Space – (free) – many hours

Glimpse the 1903 Wright Flyer, run your hands over moon rock and experience the larger-than-life world of aviation and space travel. The hub of all things flight has educated and inspired future generations of pilots and astronauts from around the world. The museum (along with its second location, the UdvarHazy Center, in Chantilly, Va.) contains the largest and most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world. All components of human flight are on display, including related art and archival materials.



Smithsonian Museum of American History – (free) – many hours

Through research, in-depth exhibits, extensive collections and public outreach, the museum presents America’s history in all of its complexity. Its collection features more than three million artifacts, from Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz to sheet music written by DC legend Duke Ellington.



Smithsonian Other – (free) – many hours

There are many museums that are part of the Smithsonian, write in your own choice if not listed.

Supreme Court Tour – (free) – 30+ minutes

When court is not in session, visitors can take free, self-guided tours of the Supreme Court. Trained docents are on-hand to give courtroom lectures every 30-minutes from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.



United States Capital Tour – (free) – about 1 hour

Guided tours of the historic Capitol begin at one of the Capitol Visitor Center’s orientation theaters with a 13-minute film, “Out of Many, One,” which will take you on a journey through our country’s struggle to establish the world’s first truly representative democracy and introduce you to the magnificent building that houses our Congress. Once inside the historic Capitol, visitors will see the Crypt, the Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall. All tours begin and end at the Capitol Visitor Center.



United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – (free) – several hours

This internationally acclaimed museum tells the story of the Holocaust through artifacts, films, photos, and oral histories. Timed passes required to view the permanent exhibition. Passes are not required for entering the museum, “Remembering the Children: Daniel’s Story”, or special exhibitions.



U.S. Mint Tour – (free) – about 1 hour

Located in the heart of the Nation’s Capital, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Washington, DC Tour and Visitor Center is a great place to learn all about U.S. paper currency.  You can see millions of dollars being printed as you walk along the gallery overlooking the production floor!  The free 40-minute experience includes an introductory film and gallery tour of the production process.  The visitor center includes exhibits and currency products for sale.



Washington Nationals Ball Park Tour – ($15.00 Adult, $10.00 Youth) – ~ 2 hours

Experience America’s favorite pastime right in the Nation’s Capital on a guided, 60-75 minute behind-the-scenes Washington Nationals Ballpark Tour. You’ll get access to parts of the stadium not typically open to the public as you explore the home of the Washington Nationals and learn about one of the MLB’s youngest teams.

On your tour, your knowledgeable tour guide will provide entertaining commentary, stories, and trivia while walking you through some of the most historic moments in Nationals history and showing where some of the more memorable moments have taken place since moving to the new stadium in 2008, like Bryce Harper’s MVP-winning season.

You’ll get to see the PNC Diamond Club and Delta Sky360 Club, a luxury suite, The Nationals Dugout, The Visiting Team Clubhouse (subject to availability), and more – you’ll even get to throw a pitch in the Nationals Bullpen, touch a module of the five-story HD scoreboard, and see where the Nationals take batting practice.

White House Tour – (free) – about 1 hour

Visitors will enter the White House complex from the south side of East Executive Avenue. After passing through the security screening area, guests will enter the East Wing of the White House and proceed down the East Colonnade following the route to the Residence depicted on the White House tour map –

*DISCLAIMER: The information for this site seeing selection has been taken from the web sites corresponding to each location or other web based tour information. It is included here as a guide for our trip not for publication or other purposes. Some of the info has been cut off to fit the purpose of this document. Additionally, travel time via walking, bus and train will vary and will limit the number of places each group is able to visit.

Travel to places that are far from the Capitol and White House will be an extra expense paid by each participant.