News

The University Choir sign from the loft of Memorial Church during Pal Sunday services.

Renovation eyes evolving mission of Memorial Church

April 18, 2017

By Jeffrey Blackwell/Memorial Church Communications

The Memorial Church is fully open to the Harvard Community following an eight-month renovation designed to transform the 85-year-old building into a more accessible, comfortable and versatile place for the evolving mission of Harvard’s “space of grace.”

The multi-million-dollar project, completed in January, is one of the most extensive renovations of the church since its construction in 1932. Visitors will notice little, if any, change inside the historic sanctuary. But those who venture downstairs will discover a complete redesign of the ground floor into a contemporary space featuring a new “Student Oasis,” meeting rooms and music rehearsal suite.

Students settle into the new Student Oasis

Students settle into the new Student Oasis.

The historic Memorial Church Bell on display at the church

Historic bell granted new life at Memorial Church

April 10, 2017

By Jeffrey Blackwell/Memorial Church Communications

Gregory Curci can look at a piece of cast metal and read the craftsman’s skill like an archeologist brushing away the sand from a long-forgotten artifact. Deep in the lines and imperfections of a piece of solid iron weighing thousands of pounds, he sees the hands of the maker.

“You can see what almost look like brush marks, it’s like they dug the mold out of the sand,” said Curci, running his hand across the 1,500-pound yoke of the bell that once hung in the spire of the Memorial Church. “Someone put every one of these brush strokes in this casting. A modern casting would look like it came out of a machine. This looks like someone made it by hand and sculpted it out of clay.”

Manuscript of Be Ye Broken by Carson Cooman

University Choir lift voices to new music in Sunday concert celebrating reopening of Memorial Church

February 28, 2017

By Jeffrey Blackwell/Memorial Church Communications

With the renovation of the Memorial Church during Fall Term, the Harvard University Choir stretched their voices into new venues across the campus. Auditions and rehearsals were in Paine Hall, the Fall Concert at Sanders Theatre and the Carol Services took place in St. Paul Church.

But after the extended tour of Harvard Square, the University Choir was back home inside the historic sanctuary Sunday (March 5) celebrating the reopening of Memorial Church.

Jonathan L/ Walton honored at Morehouse College

Professor Walton honored with Usher and Tyler Perry at Morehouse College Gala

February 21, 2017

 

Jonathan L. Walton shared a stage in Atlanta Saturday with musician Usher Raymond, actor/director Tyler Perry and music industry executive Jon Platt at Morehouse College's 29th Annual “A Candle in the Dark” Gala, honoring the achievements of men in business, entertainment and religion.

Walton, the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, received the Bennie Service Award in Religion at the event in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta attended by more than 1,500 people. He is a 1996 Morehouse College graduate. 

Logo

Exciting news!

February 17, 2017

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

I write with exciting news! You may have heard about President Faust’s recent announcement of Harvard’s first full-time Muslim chaplain. As the religious and spiritual diversity of the Harvard community expands, we have been working over the past several years towards establishing an independent multi-faith chaplaincy to better serve the needs of our diverse community. This appointment is a vital and necessary step in that direction. Now more than ever, Harvard must rededicate our efforts to serving and promoting understanding among the varied religious and spiritual traditions here at the University and beyond.

As part of this commitment, The Rev. Dr. Lucy Forster-Smith, Sedgwick Chaplain to the University and Senior Minister in the Memorial Church, will now dedicate her efforts full-time to multi-faith initiatives here at Harvard as Sedgwick Chaplain to the University.

Students and Professor Walton cut ribbon on Student Oasis

Slideshow: Memorial Church Celebrates New Student Oasis

February 16, 2017

Memorial Church Re-Opens With Fanfare

By JORDAN E. VIRTUE, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Harvard’s Memorial Church held a festive reception for around 90 students Friday night to celebrate the re-opening of the Church after months of renovations.

In a ceremony punctuated by musical performances and speeches, invited students attended the ribbon cutting and a formal dinner in the new “student oasis,” the 2,500 square foot centerpiece of the revamped basement. The downstairs area also contains two newly designed conference rooms and a kitchen for student use. Click here to read more: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/2/13/memorial-church-reopens/

Appleton Chapel

Reopening Update

January 27, 2017

Great to be back in the church!

It’s been a busy week here at Memorial Church. Morning Prayers kicked off in Appleton Chapel for the start of Spring Term and we’re looking forward to being back in the Sanctuary for the first Sunday Service of Spring Term this Sunday at 11 a.m. Please join us!

Although services have resumed and staff offices have moved back into the church, please bear with us as finishing work continues on the exterior and in the ground level. The restrooms on the ground level will be available for use with services. However, the rest of the ground level will be closed temporarily as we undertake the herculean task of unpacking and settling in, which will continue for the next several weeks. We expect that the ground level will be completed just after Spring Break.

The Memorial Church Porch

We're reopening on Jan. 23!

January 22, 2017

We are thrilled to announce the reopening of the Memorial Church building after an eight-month renovation. 

The Sanctuary and Appleton Chapel will reopen on a limited basis with the start of Spring Term 2017. The first Morning Prayers of Term will be held on Monday, Jan. 23 at 8:45 a.m. and the first Sunday Service of Term will be held on Jan. 29 at 11 a.m.

The lower-level of the church will remain closed until Monday, Jan. 30. Although staff offices will be functional at that time, finishing work will continue for the next several weeks and we expect that the ground level will be completed just after Spring Break. 

Compline returns to Appleton Chapel on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 10 p.m. Our Christian education programs begin on Sunday, Feb. 5 with the return of the Faith & Life Forum and Church School for Children. And our wonderful music department will perform several concerts, recitals, and choral services throughout the Term. Don't miss a special service of Evensong directed by Dr. Barry Rose on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m.

Memorial Church in winter

Renovation Update and Winter Recess Schedule

December 9, 2016

Construction on the Memorial Church is expected to be completed by late January with Morning Prayers and Sunday Services returning to Harvard’s historic sanctuary early in the Spring Term.

In the meantime, Morning Prayers have concluded for Fall Term, and are expected to resume in Appleton Chapel at 8:45 a.m., Jan. 23. The lower-level of the Church, however, is expected to remain closed to the public until Sunday, Jan. 29.

Sunday Services and Church School for Children will conclude for the Fall Term on Dec. 18. Additionally, the Christmas Eve service will not be held this year due to the construction project. Sunday Services will resume Jan. 29 in the sanctuary. Church School for Children and the Faith & Life Forum will resume on Feb. 5.

MemChurch Documentary: “The Chorus Line,” an inside look at Harvard University Choir auditions

MemChurch Documentary: “The Chorus Line,” an inside look at Harvard University Choir auditions

December 1, 2016

Harvard University is an institution cultivated, in part, on the foundation of long-standing traditions that inhabit nearly every corner of the institution. The Harvard University Choir is one of those traditions. For the past 189 years, the student choir has provided the musical backdrop to services at Harvard Memorial Church.