Members of the Congregation are integral to the functioning of the Chapel’s Sunday morning worship services. Each Sunday, many volunteers assist in making the service a beautiful expression of our love for God.
The Altar Guild is a faithful team of individuals who prepare the elements for communion and lovingly care for the silver and linens. You are not likely to see them in action, as they quietly work behind the scenes setting up for communion services and cleaning up afterwards.
Docents are trained to give tours of Duke University Chapel, informing guests about the history and construction of the Chapel. The beautiful stone, wood, and windows each have wonderful stories. Tours are offered at 12:15 p.m. after worship service most Sundays. Docents are typically available at the chapel on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays mornings (10 a.m. - 12 noon) and on most Thursdays (10 a.m. - 12 noon and 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.). Tours may also be scheduled during the week by contacting Mark King at 919-668-0286 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the academic year, the Duke Chapel Choir enriches the Sunday morning worship service with wonderful music. Further, the Chapel Choir offers two annual performances: Handel’s Messiah in early December and another major work in the spring. Many members of the Congregation sing in the Chapel Choir; some have done so for years. Out of appreciation for the Chapel Choir, members of the Congregation provide refreshments for the choir during the weekend of their Messiah performances.
Volunteers are needed to serve communion whenever it is celebrated during the Sunday morning worship service. Both University students and Congregation members assist in serving communion. Training is offered for all of the volunteers.
In a typical Sunday morning worship service, two lay people read the scripture passages. University students, both graduate and undergraduate, and Congregation members assist in the leadership of worship through reading scripture.
Memorial Chapel Communion
The sacrament of communion is offered every Sunday morning at Duke Chapel. When it is not celebrated during the 11:00 a.m. worship service, it is offered immediately after worship in the Memorial Chapel. Individual prayers of healing with the anointing of oil are also offered at this time. Members of the Congregation assist with both of these ministries.
The Nursery, located near the kitchen on the lower level of the Chapel, is open to children from infancy through 4 years old starting at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The Congregation’s Children’s Pastor oversees the functioning of the Nursery.
A trusted team of volunteers counts the Sunday morning offering and ensures that it is safely deposited. Extensive procedures protect the offering to guarantee that each gift is used as the donor wishes. For instance, the counters make sure to separate checks made out to "The Congregation at Duke University Chapel" from those made out to "Duke University Chapel," as the Congregation and Chapel are financially independent from each other.
Our prayer ministry prays faithfully for members, friends, and visitors, holding each prayer request in confidence. Prayer cards are available near the Memorial Chapel. These cards are mailed to our prayer ministry members, who then offer those concerns to God. Prayer requests may also be sent to the Congregation office or one of the staff.
The friendly faces in blue robes are our Sunday morning ushers. Both youth and adults, many of them Congregation members, serve the Sunday morning worshipers by greeting them with a warm smile, offering a bulletin, collecting the offering, and answering questions. The most frequently asked question is, “Where are the restrooms?” The answer is - in the Divinity School and the lower level of Page Auditorium.
Duke Chapel welcomes all! To embody this welcome, the Congregation provides two greeters before and after the Sunday morning worship service to staff a Welcome Desk. Here, visitors, friends, and members will find answers to their questions. It is a good first stop to find out more about the Congregation and ways to be involved.