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.... Read more about Renovation eyes evolving mission of Memorial Church

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


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: Read more about Slideshow: Memorial Church Celebrates New Student Oasis

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.... Read more about Reopening Update

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.... Read more about We're reopening on Jan. 23!

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.... Read more about Renovation Update and Winter Recess Schedule

In the dust of renovation, Memorial Church defines its mission

In the dust of renovation, Memorial Church defines its mission

October 19, 2016

By Jeffrey Blackwell/Harvard Memorial Church Communications

The distance between Memorial Church in Harvard Yard and the Knafel Center in Radcliffe Yard is roughly a half-mile. And the nagging question for the leadership of the church this fall was centered on whether or not students and loyal regulars of Sunday services would find their way from one yard to the other during the renovation of Harvard’s historic sanctuary.

... Read more about In the dust of renovation, Memorial Church defines its mission

Construction Update: Week of 7/18/16

Site Activities

  • Dumpsters will enter the site each day through the Broadway gate. 
  • The site will be prepared for excavation activities, which will begin the week of 7/18.
  • Deliveries will come through the North gate on Broadway Street daily.
  • Demolition will take place on the interior.
  • Removal of the granite steps at the West entry will occur.

Renovation Groundbreaking

Photo of MemChurch renovation groundbreaking ceremony

Representatives from Harvard University, Payette Associates, and Elaine Construction Company, Inc. gathered on June 20, 2016 with shovels in hand for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the Memorial Church renovation. Pictured from left to right: Elaine Construction President Lisa Wexler; Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church; Harvard University President Drew Faust; Edward Elwyn Jones, Gund University Organist and Choirmaster in the Memorial Church; and Charles Klee, AIA, LEED AP Principal, Payette. (Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer).... Read more about Renovation Groundbreaking

Construction Update: Week of 5/30/16

Site Activities

  • Workers will start to mobilize the site.
  • Temporary fencing will begin to be installed.
  • Deliveries will come through the north gate on Broadway Street daily.

Memorial Church Renovations

Photo of Memorial Church
We are excited to announce that the Memorial Church will undergo much needed renovations in the coming months. The project will focus on long-deferred building and infrastructure maintenance, including accessibility and safety compliance upgrades; a reconfigured lower level that enhances and supports the teaching and programmatic mission of the Church and the University; and a new climate control system for the upper and lower levels of the Church that will allow for more comfortable, year-round use of the building.

Beginning immediately following Commencement, the project is anticipated to extend through the end of the year and the Church building will be closed for the duration of the project.... Read more about Memorial Church Renovations