Chapel of All Saints Ready to Reopen
Trinity's rejuvenated Chapel of All Saints reopens

Worship Returns to the Chapel of All Saints

Trinity Church Wall Street will observe All Saints’ Sunday this week on November 7 with the first congregational baptism service since before the pandemic, a renewal of baptismal vows through professions of faith, the tradition of calling the names of parishioners who have died in the past year, and a return to worship in one of Trinity’s sacred spaces.

The Chapel of All Saints, under rejuvenation since February 1, 2020, will reopen for the 8am Holy Eucharist. The timing is not a coincidence.

The chapel was designed by architect Thomas Nash in a fourteenth-century English Gothic style. It stands at 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. In recent years, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Evensong on Thursdays have taken place in the chapel, although both Morning and Evening Prayer have moved online and Evensong has been temporarily suspended during the pandemic. 

When the rejuvenation of the Trinity Church nave began in May 2018, the Chapel of All Saints became busier. The midday Holy Eucharist Monday through Friday and the Sunday 9am worship service moved to the chapel for almost two years.

The chapel’s own rejuvenation has included a major cleaning of stone, stained glass, and wood, installation of new lighting and broadcast cameras, renovation of the sacristry, and modification of the existing organ loft. Chapel seating and a new organ, to be installed in 2022, are also part of the rejuvenation.

What might be most noticeable to anyone familiar with the chapel before this rejuvenation is the modification to the steps in front of the altar, according to Zach Poole, Senior Associate at MBB Architects.  

Chapel of All Saints
Chapel of All Saints before rejuvenation

“The old layout was really all about the steps, and we have simplified them to give more attention to the altar and the wall behind,” Poole said.

Chapel of All Saints after rejuvenation
Chapel of All Saints after rejuvenation

The Trinity Vestry authorized construction of the chapel to honor the Rev. Morgan Dix, whose ministry as Trinity’s Rector encompassed 46 years, from 1862 until his death in 1908. Trinity consecrated the chapel on the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 1913.

Dedication of Chapel of All Saints to the Rev. Morgan Dix
The dedication by the Trinity Vestry of the Chapel of All Saints to the Rev. Morgan Dix is carved into a north wall of the chapel.

Dix’s body is entombed beneath the altar and he is memorialized in a cenotaph in the antechapel. Morgan Dix was born on All Saints’ Day 1827, hence the name of the chapel built in his honor. 

The Rev. Morgan Dix

On All Saints’ Sunday at Trinity this year, the 9am Holy Eucharist will be dedicated to baptisms. At the 11:15am Holy Eucharist, the commemoration of those persons in the parish community who have passed in the last year will include reciting each name, followed by the swinging of a thurible of incense and the ringing of a bell. Baptismal vows will be renewed through professions of faith by those present at all of the liturgies. 

It’s a day when new members, many of them babies and children, join the parish through baptism, beloved parishioners who are no longer physically present are remembered and, for at least a moment, chronological time is suspended in a celebration of what the Church calls the Communion of Saints.