Each day at noon (Monday – Thursday) during the academic year, James Memorial Chapel is the setting for community worship. Union Seminary – with its different cultures, different denominational traditions, and different theological perspectives – is a microcosm of the world. Nowhere is this diverse community brought together more discernibly than at worship, where the seminary community gathers to articulate as well as listen to these multiple voices. No classes or official meetings are scheduled during the noon hour so that the entire community can attend services. Attendance is not required, but all who are able to attend are encouraged to do so.
Daily chapel provides the time and place for the community to bring forth its voice to God. The many constituencies of the Union community each have opportunities to create and lead worship that gives their particular voice to the community's dialogue with God. Worship draws upon the rich cultural resources throughout the New York metropolitan area. Given the multiple voices and perspectives, daily chapel spans from traditional to highly innovative.
Artists-in-Residence Penna Rose (Seminary Choir director), M. Roger Holland, II (Seminary Gospel Choir director), and Chris Johnson (organist) provide musical support to services. See Choirs for more information on singing opportunities in chapel.
In addition, chapel worship is graced by a wealth of performing artists, recently including African drummers, a bluegrass band, jazz ensembles, spoken word artists, actors, poets, and dancers.