During the rejuvenation of the nave of Trinity Church weekday services and the Sunday 9am service are being held in the Chapel of All Saints, a 1913 addition the building.
The Chapel is a memorial to the Rev. Dr. Morgan Dix, Rector of Trinity Parish from November 10, 1862 until his death on April 10, 1908. His 44-year tenure spanned the Civil War, a massive wave of immigration, and the incorporation of the five boroughs into one New York City. He led the parish through an era that defined the city and the nation. (Dix is Trinity’s second-longest serving rector. The first rector, the Rev. William Vesey, served for the first 46 years of the parish’s existence.)
A youthful Morgan Dix
Dix was born on All Saints Day (November 1), 1827, and the Chapel’s name is taken from his birthdate. The Chapel was designed by architect Thomas Nash in a fourteenth century English Gothic style. It opens off of the northwestern end of the nave of Trinity Church, and Nash used the buttresses of the church as the piers for the south side of the chapel. The interior of the chapel is limestone, with marble floors and a ceiling of dark carved oak with carved wall posts resting on stone brackets. The bases of these wall posts are statues of eight representative saints from church history: St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Ignatius and St. Clement, St. Augustine and St. Athanasius, and St. Patrick and St. Aidan. The chapel also has a carved rood screen separating the space into a chapel and antechapel. A tomb-like memorial cenotaph to Dix sits in the antechapel.
The rood screen and altar in the Chapel of All Saints
The Chapel of All Saints was consecrated on Advent Sunday 1913. The Parish Yearbook from 1913 describes the procession entering the Chapel for the consecration:
“The Procession moved slowly down the south aisle of the Church, and made a picturesque scene as it passed out through the main entrance and up the north walk of the churchyard to the door of the Chapel…There was a moment’s pause; and it was a moment deeply impressive. The open door revealed the waiting congregation gathered to do honor to one who for so many years had been associated with them in the most sacred relationship and to ask God’s blessing upon a building erected to his memory.”
The memorial to Dix, pictured during a 2013 ceremony
The antechapel, seen from the interior of the chapel. Note the carved ceiling.
Detail of carving inside the chapel