What happens at Chapel?

Erin Flom, Guest Writer

For many students, Chapel is just the half-hour break between classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Many students don’t know what happens during Chapel.

Junior Maylen Anthony, a campus ministry steward, said Chapel usually begins with announcements for campus events, from either of the university pastors Rev. Dennis Sepper or Rev. Nancy Connor. A welcome and a prayer then follow.

Next, a hymn is sung. These hymns can range from classic to contemporary, Sepper said. Often, faculty or students perform hymns during Chapel. On Wednesdays, Chapel Choir performs, which anyone can join.

After singing hymns comes a reading and a homily from the speaker that day. Speakers at Chapel can be students, faculty or community members. Although the service is based in Christianity, the speakers at chapel come from a variety of religious backgrounds, including different faiths or no faith at all. Sepper said he wants Chapel to reflect the diversity of campus.

The service ends with prayer, and snacks are available afterward.

“Anyone can come to Chapel,” Anthony said. “There’s a misconception that you have to be Lutheran, but that’s not true.”

More than 50 years ago, Chapel was mandatory. Each student had an assigned seat and attendance was taken. Chapel didn’t become voluntary until the 1960s, which resulted in less attendance. Today, anywhere from 40 to 100 people attend Chapel in Lagerquist.

Sepper advises those curious about Chapel to look at the Chapel calendar to see who is speaking and attend Chapel that day to see what it’s like.

“[PLU can] nourish your spiritual side of life,” Sepper said. “We care for the whole person: body, mind and spirit.”

Chapel is one way to cultivate students’ spiritual sides.

Anthony said it’s nice to have a break in her day, to sing and relax.

Chapels are 10:30 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Lagerquist Concert Hall. 🅼

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