Please note: The Upper Room Chapel is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 health precautions.
While The Upper Room Chapel is currently closed to visitors, we invite you to pray online with us. We are hosting a moment of prayer on Facebook Live on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:00 AM Central Time. These moments of prayer are available on this page below, on Facebook, and on The Upper Room YouTube Channel after they air.
The Upper Room Chapel sits at the heart of The Upper Room’s international headquarters located in Nashville, Tennessee. Since the chapel’s opening in April 1953 it has hosted millions of visitors. The chapel was built as a sacred space for prayer and worship, open to all. It features two primary art installations made especially for the chapel, each depicting holy moments that occurred in the biblical upper room: Jesus’ last supper with the disciples and the arrival of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. These two events, sitting prayerfully with Jesus and going out into the world to share God’s love, have long provided the framework for the mission and spiritual vision of The Upper Room.
The focal point of The Upper Room Chapel is a large woodcarving and replica of Leonardo da Vinci's painting, The Last Supper. Commissioned for the opening of chapel in 1953, the woodcarving is 17’ wide and 8’ high with an amazing sense of depth, color, and dimension. Fifty craftspersons worked for 14 months under the direction of sculptor Ernest Pellegrini to create the work, which captures the moment when Jesus says to the disciples, “One of you will betray me.” Their immediate responses are revealed in the expressions of their faces, hands, and bodies. And, yet Jesus remains calm with his feet rested on the floor, and his hands open to welcome all who are weary and burdened.
The chancel of the chapel is patterned after the carving, as the ceiling, tapestries, and altar table are designed to reflect the setting in Pellegrini's work.
At the back of the Chapel, visible from Grand Avenue, is The World Christian Fellowship Window. Created by D’Ascenzo Studios in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this beautiful stained-glass window commemorates the presence of the Holy Spirit in the biblical upper room (Acts 2). The window is 20’ high and 8’ wide and includes over 9,000 pieces of glass. Along with the Pentecost event and the sending out of the first disciples into the world, the window honors the work of historical Christian servants who were instrumental in spreading the gospel. These include John Wesley, Martin Luther, St. Augustine, George Washington Carver, and Florence Nightingale, among others. The World Christian Fellowship Window was dedicated on Pentecost Sunday, May 17, 1959, six years after the opening of The Upper Room Chapel.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.