on March 20, 2010
This distinctive and elegant architectural wonder was designed by Marguerite Brunswig Staude (sculptor and philantrophist) through a revelation she received after gazing upon the newly opened Empire State Building in 1932. Her vision encountered a lot of obstacles to fruition but finally, in 1956, the Chapel of Holy Cross was completed. It became the first contemporary structure of its kind which was constructed as a Catholic Church. But eventhough Catholic in orientation, it welcomes peoples of all faiths and denomination and serves as a shrine for reflection and prayer, introspection and insight.The structure is a masterpiece of contemporary art. Seemingly built into and between Sedona’s red rocks, it stands majestically rising about 200 feet above the ground and blends beautifully with the surrounding red rocks. The 90-foot cross is prominently displayed in front and the stained glass windows let in light in a myriad of colors that is dazzling and awe-inspiring. The views from the chapel are just breathtaking. Sitting up on a hill, it is surrounded by panoramic views of the majestic red rocks.Inside the chapel, it is lovely, yet serene and intimate. There are only two rows of 7 pews on each side, and encourages an atmosphere of rumination and reverence. It is also believed to be the site of one of Sedona’s vortexes (though not one of the popular ones) reinforced by the general feeling of calm and inspiration that people report after their visit. Personally, being in the chapel and around it was relaxing for me. It certainly encouraged meditation. But even aside from its strong spiritual significance, there is no doubt that this dramatic edifice would be appreciated for its artistic merit.The chapel is accessed at the end of Chapel road off Hwy 179. Although easily accessible, the steep climb up the hill from the parking lot might be a little daunting. There is a small gift shop under the chapel where unique religious trinkets are available. It is open Mondays to Saturdays from 9am to 5pm and Sundays from 10am to 5pm. There is no permanent mass services held on this chapel but a regular prayer service occurs every Monday at 5pm.
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