An April message of hope

From Dean Maurice Charles: "April is upon us and this year Jews, Christians, and Muslims enter important seasons of communal prayer and shared memory in the midst of another global pandemic.  Jews celebrate the festival of the Passover. Christians observe Holy Week and Easter. Muslims fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan at the end of April and will conclude the month in late May with the Eid al-Fitr feast." Click "Read more" below for the full message.


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suspension of gatherings at University Chapels and Spiritual Life through April 15

Dean Maurice Charles offers the following update on the temporary suspension of gatherings at Rockefeller and Bond Chapels and the Spiritual Life spaces at Ida Noyes Hall:

As a research university of international renown, the University of Chicago gathers a worldwide community, welcoming students, faculty, staff, visitors, and friends from around the globe.  Rockefeller and Bond Chapels and the Spiritual Life Office in Ida Noyes Hall host religious and spiritual gatherings from a variety of traditions in addition to providing space for individual reflection and prayer.  In keeping with the guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the senior university administration regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and especially in light of our common mission to care for the most vulnerable members of the community, many of whom attend our gatherings, beginning Sunday, March 15, we are suspending all communal religious and spiritual gatherings occurring in Rockefeller and Bond Chapels and the Spiritual Life office, prayer, and meditation spaces until April 15.

While I am deeply sorry for any distress this may cause, I do want to reassure everyone that our venues will remain open for private prayer and reflection according to posted schedule and that our team is available to address any concerns you may have.  Meanwhile, we hope that you will have a satisfying end to the quarter and a restful break.  We look forward to thinking creatively together about meeting community needs during the spring term and to continuing to support and encourage one another in our adventures in learning.

D. Maurice Charles, Dean, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel


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University Carillonneur Joey Brink and University Professor Augusta Read Thomas release new album Ripple Effects

Ripple Effects: New Music for Carillon at the University of Chicago features a new composition by Read Thomas and several live recordings of pieces premiered at the Rockefeller Carillon New Music Festival (2018). The album is available immediately for sale at the Rockefeller Chapel gift kiosks at the front desk and carillon playing cabin, Tuesdays through Fridays 11-6 pm.

Sample on Spotify

Purchase from CDBaby


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Celebrating Diwali in Rockefeller Chapel

On October 30th [2019], the University of Chicago’s Office of Spiritual Life hosted a celebration of Diwali, the festival of lights, in Rockefeller Chapel. Spiritual Life collaborated with the Hindu Student Sangam and the South Asian Students Association (SASA) to create a space where UChicago students and members of the community could celebrate Diwali and participate in the spiritual ritual, or puja.

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Something for Everyone at the Bells of Summer

2019 marks the 54th Bells of Summer, a weekly concert series played on Rockefeller Chapel’s carillon. Running from June 23 to August 25, the series features carillonneurs from around the world, each with their own style.

“Here, we’re all about variety,” said University Carillonneur Joey Brink. This year’s program reflects that, as it showcases new, local, and international players. Carillonneurs who play at the Bells of Summer go on to play the carillon at the Chicago Botanic Garden and in Naperville, Illinois, completing what Brink called “the Chicago circuit for carillon players.”

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Scientists climb UChicago buildings to study air quality and pollution

The bell tower of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel is normally populated by tourists and the University’s carillonneur. But scientists recently scaled its 271 stone steps to the highest point on campus in order to study air quality and pollution across Chicago.

At Rockefeller, researchers from UChicago and Harvard University ran a long tube down the stone tower to a humming machine, which analyzed air for methane as it blew past the tower. Across campus, another instrument atop the Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery allowed UChicago scientists to test isotopes in water vapor.

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