A feast of words and music

On Sundays during the academic year (October to early June), the soaring architecture of Rockefeller Chapel is home to the cathedral-like sounds of choir and organ, with music ranging from the 12th to the 21st centuries: from Palestrina to jazz, from Hildegard of Bingen to the African beat of Missa Luba. Every year, we revisit beloved classics of the sacred repertoire as well as offering the premières of newly commissioned works.

As a University Chapel, Rockefeller does not belong to any particular denomination or tradition (indeed, in addition to Sunday worship, the Chapel is regularly used by members of other major world religious traditions). On Sundays, we use poetry and literature as complements to Christian sacred text, and we draw from both ancient and contemporary liturgical practice in constructing each week’s service. Thoughtful preaching, informed by the University’s tradition of rigorous scholarship, is offered by members of the University community and distinguished guests. The communion table is open to all, always.

Sunday services take place at 11 am during the academic year. Our annual Christmas service is on Christmas Eve at 4 pm, featuring candlelit lessons and carols and the traditional beloved nativity tableau, offered by the children.

Upcoming Sundays, holy days, and festivals at Rockefeller

Sunday services begin again on Sunday April 2, the first Sunday of the spring quarter of the academic year.

Sunday April 2
The Chapel Choir sings Gerald Finzi's Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice. Revd. Dr. Anne Benvenuti, assistant priest and meditation teacher at Spiritual Life, offers the sermon.

Sunday April 9  Palm Sunday
The Chapel Choir presents excerpts of Heinrich Schütz' Matthäuspassion, to be sung in full at the 3 pm concert this same day. Dean Elizabeth Davenport offers the sermon.

Thursday April 13  Holy Thursday | 7 pm
Poulenc’s Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence form the centerpiece of the traditional liturgy for Holy Thursday, including the ritual extinguishing of the lights and preparing of the tomb—a service that counts as one of the most dramatic of the year.

Friday April 14  Good Friday | 12 noon
An hour's vigil at the tomb. 

Sunday April 16  Easter Sunday | 11 am
A joyous festival service with Easter anthems of Felice Anerio and Charles Stanford, and hymns accompanied by trumpets. The three dozen children of the Rockefeller Children's Choir sing, and then await the traditional Easter Egg hunt!