Emmanuel Chapel

Emmanuel Chapel lies off the north side aisle, proximate to both the sanctuary and the sacristy. The stone vaulting of the limestone walls and ceiling provide a space for the reservation of the Holy Sacrament, and an intimate space in the Church of the Transfiguration for personal and small group prayer and meditation. The presence of the Sacrament together with the chapel’s location near the altar and under the fresco image of the Epiphany inspired its name, Emmanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). The Eucharist reserved here is a powerful mode of this continuing presense.

The icons lining the walls remind us that the saints, too, the great cloud of witnesses that surround us, revere the presence of Christ and that we live and pray in their company. The candles illuminate their images and convey by their burning light the prayer intentions for those in specific need.

In honor of the Lord’s death and resurrection the chapel undergoes a transformation each year. For a time it is stripped of its adornment and stands entirely bare and empty (even the Sacrament is removed on Good Friday). Then, for the days of Easter, it is dramatically and splendidly decorated as a garden bursting forth with the vibrant colors and shapes of new life. Once a year Emmanuel Chapel speaks loudly the word that it quietly speaks every day—that God, the true source of all light and hope, is with us.

The glass doors, created by Fr. Kim En Joong, reflect the image of Paradise, “bringing together an orchestra of colors and forms.” The dynamic and lyrical movement of light and color help point the way.