Operations, associations and partners of the Cathedral
There are several different aspects to cathedral life.
Many different partners help achieve the cathedral’s mission.
In addition to this, the cathedral also seeks to integrate itself in the life of the city and our society.
Operations and associations
Development cooperation | Afrant
De Kathedraal vzw
This initiative is the result of the friendship between a priest who used to work in the cathedral and two of his colleagues from Benin and Burkina Faso. Afrant implements projects in the fields of education, basic health, water supply and agriculture in these two countries. The organisation’s activities are founded on intensive, personal contact and a direct follow-up.
Music | Organ
De Kathedraal vzw
Since 1963, the Cathedral has been promoting religious music in general and organ music in particular. Antwerp’s cathedral has hosted an international organ cycle for almost 40 years. Prominent organists play the 19th century Schyven organ or the 20th c. Metzler organ every Friday evening in June.
During the months of July and August the concert society organises lunchtime concerts as part of its ‘Orgel na de noen’ cycle.
Music | Cathedral Choir
De Kathedraal vzw
Antwerp’s Church of Our Lady has had a children’s choir since the 14th century. The Cathedral Choir sings regularly in the Cathedral's liturgy. Currently, the Choir is in the process of relaunching and recruiting new singers for the boys' and girls' choirs.
With its Familia Cathedralis, the cathedral community offers people of all ages an opportunity to reflect on Christian faith. On the third Sunday of every month, we come together to celebrate our faith. We also offer an initiation to children who are about to do their First Communion or Holy Communion, their brothers and sisters, young adults, adults, adults who are about to be baptised, parents of children who are about to be baptised, couples who are preparing for their marriage and anyone who wishes to work on his or her relationship with the Church community.
The Guild and Chapel of Our Lady in the Cathedral of Antwerp
The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral of Antwerp
The Guild and Chapel of Our Lady is one of Antwerp’s oldest associations, with a long-standing and rich tradition. It has been responsible for the Lady Chapel or Mary’s Chapel in the north transept of the Cathedral of Antwerp for over 530 years. The guild wishes to bring us closer to Mary, who is the patron saint of our city and our diocese. Guild members offer a warm welcome to anyone who is interested in praying to Mary, lighting a candle or writing down a prayer intention. You can find more information on the chapel’s website.
The origin of the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament can be traced back to the Late Middle Ages. It was established at a time when the city had various guild churches and has survived over 5,000 years of - at times turbulent - history. It is one of the oldest associations in Belgium.
Today, the Chapel’s members want to demonstrate their worship of Roman Catholicism on a personal level, contributing to society. You can find more information about what they do on the chapel’s website.
On the website of the Church of Flanders, you can find more information about church structures in Flanders, about Kerk en Leven (its publication), about monuments and cultural events, and so on.
The website has a separate chapter about the Diocese of Antwerp.
Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp
In 2009, the Museum of Fine Arts and the cathedral co-developed an exhibition titled Reunion, which ran until 2019. Altarpieces that were painted in the 16th and 17th centuries for the cathedral, and which ended up in the museum’s collection over time, were returned to the cathedral for a period of ten years. The in-situ presentation was written up by the international media and hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed it. KMSKA reopened its doors in November 2022. Since then, masterpieces have been back on display at the renovated museum.
Two museum works will remain in the cathedral. They are The Feeding of the Five Thousand by Ambrosius Francken and The Adoration of the Shepherds by Frans Floris.
MKA, Monumentale Kerken Antwerpen
MKA, or the Monumental Churches of Antwerp, is an umbrella organisation that provides access to five magnificent historic churches in Antwerp, i.e. St. James’s Church, St. Paul’s Church, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Charles Borromeo’s Church and the Cathedral of Our Lady.