These weekly services are hosted at 11 a.m. (Central Time) on Facebook Live and YouTube.
The Upper Room Chapel sits at the heart of The Upper Room’s international headquarters located in Nashville, Tennessee. The chapel is open to the public for self-guided tours on Wednesdays between 10:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Central Time) or by appointment. For appointments, you can email [email protected].
Since The Upper Room 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. While we have in recent years added beautiful art and religious iconography to reflect the value we place on multicultural artistic representation and interpretation, the chapel features features two primary art installations created especially for the chapel. Each depicts a holy moment 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.
This year we are celebrating The Upper Room Chapel’s 70th anniversary. If you feel compelled, we invite you to give in honor of the chapel’s anniversary as it continues to be the place where the world meets to pray.
Rev. Dr. Amy E. Steele, Dean of The Upper Room Chapel, offers a brief, 15-minute video meditation on The Last Supper, using The Upper Room Chapel’s woodcarving replica of da Vinci’s masterpiece.
2023 marks the 70th anniversary of The Upper Room Chapel. To celebrate this milestone anniversary, we are offering as a gift to you a video reflection on The Last Supper and a free downloadable resource, Prayer Practices for Disciplines.
The Last Supper Woodcarving reveals a bit of the social history of The Upper Room Chapel—a place “open to all people for the worship of God.” The artwork 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. All the while, Jesus remains calm with his hands open to welcome all who are weary and burdened.
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.
The RESILIENCE conference in 2021 was so uplifting and nourishing. It was wonderful to be with other Christians around the world at this retreat, who truly care about responding to trauma in a compassionate way by teaching spiritual practices to help with grounding and healing.”
Join us for the next RESILIENCE conference on September 29-30, 2023. Learn more at UpperRoom.org/resilience.