This small chapel was designed for the reservation of the Holy Sacrament and for the past twenty years it has provided 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 icons lining the walls remind us that the saints, too, revere the presence of Christ and that we always live and pray in their blessed company. The candles illuminate their images and convey by their burning light that we want our prayers in this sacred place to be fervent and incessant.
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.