Trinity Church Wall Street customarily tabulates viewership of website and social media videos to determine the Top 10 each year, information annually shared the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The year 2020 has been highly unusual, a year marked first and foremost by the lethal novel coronavirus pandemic, but also by economic distress, and a national reckoning on racial injustice and systemic white supremacy in the United States.
This look back at Trinity’s Top 10 videos, presented here in chronological order, helps tell the story of a remarkable year.
A Very Quick Look At Trinity’s Rejuvenation
The year began with the major details of the rejuvenation of the nave of Trinity Church largely complete. Photographer Colin Winterbottom, who had documented the previous 20 months of work, shared many of his images in a timelapse video.
Trinity Church Wood Still Making A Joyful Noise
With a succession of Trinity church buildings dating back to the late 17th century, a lot of old wood—used in construction from ancient forests in upstate New York—is still around, and still coveted for repurposing, for example, in a guitar.
Holy Week At Home
The pandemic, which changed lives and lifestyles around the globe, hit with a vengeance in early March, two weeks into the penitential season of Lent, causing Trinity to suspend all in-person worship. Trinity's Priest-in-charge, the Rev. Phillip Jackson, spoke to congregation members about the challenge facing them as they observed Holy Week and Easter, the most important period of the Church calendar, with remote worship.
Comfort at One
As terms such as social distancing, lockdown, quarantine, and Zoom became part of the daily public vocabulary, the pandemic caused a suspension of all music concerts. By early April, Trinity had turned to its vast library of past performances by launching Comfort at One, including this performance of a Bach cantata.
Candlelight Baroque: Comfort from Home
Making music from home became a way for musicians to continue to offer their gift in a time of quarantine. A Candlelight Baroque event in late April featured virtuoso violinist Alana Youssefian.
Comfort at One with NOVUS NY: Sandbox Percussion
Quarantine proved to be no match for musical creativity, as demonstrated in this Comfort at One performance in late May, featuring Sandbox Percussion.
Truth, Then Reconciliation
The May 25 death of George Floyd, killed by a Minneapolis police officer, brought tens of thousands of people into the streets. Coincidentally, that same month, a book written by Trinity parishioner J. Chester Johnson, revealing his family connection to a massacre of African Americans in Arkansas a century earlier, raised the issue of truth-telling as a necessary prelude to any possibility of reconciliation.
How Pipe Organs Work: Inside the St. Paul’s Chapel Organ
In July, a Trinity video answered the question: What musical instrument, dating from the Roman Empire, was the most complex machine known to humanity until the invention of the steam engine?
Faith Communities for Just Reentry Vigil
COVID-19 dramatically underscores the challenges justice-involved persons face upon release: lack of IDs, lack of COVID testing, lack of housing, and lack of the inter-agency coordination required to make sure they have the best chance possible to avoid returning to the prison system. In late July, Trinity launched a campaign called Faith Communities for Just Reentry to advocate for their human rights and dignity. Learn more about the campaign.
Trinity's connection with Handel's Messiah dates back 250 years and, while 2020 forced adjustments in how the oratorio was presented, even the pandemic could not stop this holiday tradition.