Much to the delight of Middle and Upper School students, this year's energetic cast of faculty, staff, and students delivered over-the-top performances and added creative flourishes to the beloved classic story.
Chapel is a worship service adapted from The Book of Common Prayer. Upper School students and faculty join together on odd days of the eight-day rotation. Middle School students and faculty come together on even days of the eight-day rotation. Lower School Chapel occurs twice in the 12-day cycle.
Guest speakers, dignitaries, faculty, staff, parents, and students address the Chapel theme for the year. Students of each division take further responsibility by planning their own services through their respective Chapel Councils and Student Vestry.
Chapel provides an opportunity to inspire students to think how they can lead lives of purpose, faith and integrity. It also offers time for students and faculty to ask two important questions: What do I know about the world, and what do I want to do about it? Ultimately, Chapel provides an opportunity for students and teachers to reflect how we are part of something greater than ourselves and why we must respect the individual dignity of every human being. In essence, in chapel we learn that worship should lead to service.
An inclusive, Christian community, The Episcopal Academy welcomes and embraces all people with warmth and authentic hospitality. Chapel is where our student musicians share their gifts with the community; where ancient stories come alive; and where our entire community comes together to encourage one another on our individual faith journeys.
Learn more about our inspiring Chapel program.
Tim Gavin was ordained to Holy Orders on January 12, 2013. He has worn many hats at the Episcopal Academy: Media Specialist in the library, Dean of Students, Form Dean, English and religion teacher, and Lower School Chaplain. Tim can boast that he has taught every grade at EA since his arrival in 1988.
Now our Head Chaplain, Tim directs the spiritual program and offers pastoral care to our community. He also leads the partnership program for St. Marc’s School in Haiti, and has developed a partnership between EA’s 5th grade and St. James School (Philadelphia) fifth grade.
Tim is married to Joyce and has two sons, Jake and Nick. He loves to run long distances and walk his two golden retrievers, Lizzie and Colby.
Michael Palmisano was ordained to the priesthood on January 17, 2020. Prior to receiving the call to serve as EA’s Middle School chaplain, Michael served for three years as an Associate Rector at Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, PA. Michael has a passion for inviting a sense of wonder in young people and helping them foster their own spiritual life. He understands that a holistic mind-body-spirit approach to development is essential for all people.
Michael received his M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary, his M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Villanova University and his A.B. in Psychology from Princeton University.
Michael is married to Theresa and has twin daughters Rogan and Aline. He and Theresa met on their college track & field team and share a passion for running.
The Episcopal Academy offers chaplains who are on-call to serve the spiritual and intellectual needs of the entire community. If you have a pastoral emergency, please call Fr. Tim Gavin at 610.656.5474. Read more about our chaplains' services below:
If you would like a chaplain to preside over your wedding, please contact the chaplain of your choice. As priests of The Episcopal Church, chaplains follow the diocese of Pennsylvania's requirements and will therefore meet with couples at least three times to discuss marriage, faith values, relationships, conflict resolution, the elements of a successful marriage, family, and development of Christian commitment.
EA chaplains may officiate weddings at any venue. If scheduled in advance, couples may choose to be married in the Class of 1944 Chapel on The Episcopal Academy campus for no charge. Note: our campus hosts many activities; therefore, it may not always be possible to accommodate parking for your guests. Therefore, the earlier you plan your wedding, the more likely you will have in securing a date.
Because The Episcopal Church and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have validated same-sex marriages, chaplains preside over all marriages as long as both people are fit to share in a mutually exclusive and loving relationship. Please note that at least one partner must be a baptized Christian to be married in The Episcopal Church.
As Episcopal priests, we are ordained to preside over the sacrament of marriage. Therefore, we do not preside over civil marriage ceremonies. However, we will collaborate with clergy of other Christian denominations and other faith traditions when two people of different traditions decide to marry. However, we cannot be part of a ceremony that denies the existence of the Trinity or rejects the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Chaplains pay visits to the hospital not to evangelize, but to provide support and to help the patient emotionally process all that he or she is experiencing. Chaplains will also visit extended family members of students, staff, teachers, and administrators.
In addition to providing emotional support, the chaplains can offer the sacraments: Eucharist, Healing, or Reconciliation.
During extended illnesses, chaplains make house visits to provide emotional support and to help the communication between school and family if a child is ill for an extended time. The chaplains can also help with making the transition back to school run smoothly as possible. Feel free to contact the chaplains at any time.
When people struggle with their own spiritual journey, chaplains may assist with clarifying language, offering various forms of spiritual disciplines, or helping identify where they are in their spiritual journey. Chaplains will not be judgmental, nor will they try to advocate one spiritual practice over another.
The Episcopal Academy Chapel program is home to many rich traditions. Read more by selecting the tradition from the menu below.
- Chapel Theme
- Lower School: Stop Hunger Now
- Lower School: Hymnal Chapel
- Lower School: Huston Chapel Series
- Edward H. Vick, Jr. ’62 Veteran’s Day Chapel
- Blessing of the Jerseys
- Blessing of the Animals
- Benjamin H. Reed ‘43 Lecture
- Blessing of the Artists
The Chapel Theme acts as a central thematic thread throughout the school year.
Each spring, the Lower School Chapel Council, Middle School Chapel Council, Upper School Vestry, and the Volunteer Service Board solicit ideas for the theme that will form a purpose and focus for the spiritual development in the next academic year.
Chapel Theme for 2023-2024
"Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind." (Romans 12:2)
During the second week of November, we honor our veterans and welcome an alumnus to give a Chapel address on the importance of Veterans Day and remembering those who served our country. Many members of The Episcopal Academy who have served in our armed forces attend this Chapel.
This Chapel has been named in honor of our former chair of the board, Edward H. Vick, Jr. ’62, who served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War as an officer of the U.S. Navy. He received two bronze star medals with Combat “V,” the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
Each year the recipient of the Benjamin H. Reed
'43 Scholarship gives a lecture on his or her service activity that was completed during the summer before senior year.
The Benjamin H. Reed '43 Scholar is judged based on two main criteria, including demonstrated excellent scholarship in history courses with emphasis on written and oral expression, and a written proposal describing an original and worthwhile project in the field of public service.
- Family Eucharist Celebrations
- All Saints Day
- Haverford / AIS Weekend Chapel
- Maura Murphy '96 Lecture
- Scrooge Chapel
- Lessons and Carols
- Ash Wednesday
- Middle School: Faith Papers
- Senior Class Family Baccalaureate Communion
On the Friday that begins Haverford/AIS Weekend, we gather in Chapel before the festivities and competitions to help our students focus on the Stripes of Sportsmanship, Respect, and Courage. Two seniors, one male and one female, share inspirational words to motivate the players and fans to enter into the spirit of competition and to perform to the best of their ability.
When students enter 8th grade,they have developmentally reached the point where abstract thought has become meaningful. Students begin to understand the complexities of relationships and can examine their individual convictions.
During this time, students undertake a study of the world’s religions. They come to understand that the study of other religions can enhance one’s own faith tradition. They also come to learn of the many similarities enjoyed by the religion such as prayer, service to others, commitment to being right with God, and respecting the individual dignity of every human being.
Students are asked to provide how the study of a particular religion gave them insight to their own faith tradition or helped them reconsider the importance of religion.8th grade students have come to the place where they can more fully incorporate discussions of philosophy and theology into their lives. Therefore, we ask them to look deep within themselves and consider questions of faith: What do I believe? Why do I believe it? And how did the study of another religion guide me in my belief system? The strongest of these essays are shared in Chapel.
The Chapel organ required more than four years of planning and construction. It was completed by R. J. Brunner & Co. of Silver Spring, PA in 2008. Read more here.
Bible Study meets twice monthly. All are welcome to attend the class, which meets at 8 a.m. in the chapel conference room.
We will study the concept of Radical Hospitality and how we can apply the concept to our daily lives. The Bible, time and time again, offers illustrations of the concept. From the moment of creation in Genesis, God offers radical hospitality to humankind by making them in his image. Abraham demonstrates radical hospitality to the three strangers who visit Sara and him. The prophets explain that Israel's exile is the result of neglecting offer Radical Hospitality to the poor. The father of the Prodigal Son embraces his youngest son with Radical Hospitality as he returns home after losing everything. Of course, Jesus' ministry, passion and death are all motivated and informed with the concept of Radical Hospitality.
We as a community can hold fast to what is good by living Radical Hospitality and welcoming everyone into our community, granting them dignity, affirmation and love. Through Radical Hospitality, we can make the stranger our neighbor and break through the barriers that separate us.
Please join Bible Study to explore how Radical Hospitality can be applied to our everyday lives.
In this season of Thanksgiving, we often ask ourselves and others: "What are you thankful for?" When this question was posed to our youngest students in PreK to 3rd grade during Stripes class, their answers served as a reminder to always show thanks for the smallest things and for the greatest things.