Adapted from a Virginia Theological Seminary release
A liturgy designed by this year’s senior class of Virginia Theological Seminary has paid tribute to the three worship sites on the seminary’s campus and commemorated their three years spent at the seminary.
“The seniors had the idea,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president. “They are very conscious that this is the class that has watched the chapel designs emerge and witness the capital campaign succeed. But like the Jewish people in the wilderness, they can see the Promised Land but it isn’t going to be possible for them to access it. So last night, a special liturgy happened.”
The service began in the Chapel Garden, site of the seminary’s 1881 chapel, which was lost to fire in 2010, with a litany of remembrance. The service continued to the Lettie Pate Evans Interim Chapel, located in the Addison Academic Center, where the VTS community has worshiped together since 2011, for Scripture readings. Finally, all processed to the construction site of the new Immanuel Chapel, where the Rt. Rev. James J. “Bud” Shand, Bishop of Easton and chair of the board of trustees, and Dean Markham helped celebrate the Holy Eucharist.
During the procession across campus to the site of the new Immanuel Chapel, the Class of 2014’s gift to the seminary was unfurled: a beautiful banner of a phoenix arising from the ashes created by North Carolina artisan Kerstin McDaniel.
“This is the class that has seen how grace can come from fire,” said Markham. “They have watched the capital campaign succeed and the designs of a beautiful new chapel emerge. It is so appropriate that this theme is captured in this beautiful banner.”
During the eucharistic prayer, Bishop Shand invited students to speak into the air the Scriptures they had written on the ring beam last week, which now hovered above them in the new chapel.