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When You Travel, Stop For A Moment And Look At The Airport Chapel

When You Travel, Stop For A Moment And Look At The Airport Chapel

It’s quite likely there’s a chapel or meditation area tucked away someplace in among the airports you will pass through.

I’m a sociologist of modern American faith and have written two recent posts about airport chaplains and chapels. My curiosity about airport chapels began as easy curiosity why would airports have chapels and that uses them? After seeing a few such as the chapel in Logan, my home airport in Boston I’ve reasoned that they represent wider changing standards around American faith.

A neon light pointed into the chapel and souvenir store cards given out in the devotion read,

Protestant chapels arrived after. It had been created in the form of a Latin cross and has been joined with a Jewish synagogue from the 1960s. These chapels were found at a distance in the terminals: Passengers wanting to see them needed to go outdoors. They were afterwards razed and rebuilt at various region of JFK.

Getting More Inclusive

Most began to welcome individuals from all religions. And many were changed to spaces for reflection, or meditation to get weary travelers. A tiny enclosed area with no religious symbols or clear connections to matters spiritual or religious is available for solutions.

The scene in the Atlanta airport chapel is comparable, with just a couple chairs and crystal clear glass entrances, to give space for silent reflection.

Others incorporate religious symbols and items from a variety of spiritual traditions. The chapel from Charlotte, North Carolina, as an instance, has multiple spiritual texts along with prayer rugs, rosary beads and richly rendered quotations from the world’s major religions.

Pamphlets on subjects which range from despair to forgiveness are offered for people to take together in the Charlotte airport.

Various Airports, Different Principles

As these examples reveal, no 2 airports have softened chapel space at exactly the exact same manner. What is permissible in a town is frequently not in another. Many times, it’s local, historic and demographic variables, including the religious composition of the area, that affect decisions. These may be according to who began the chapel, or just how much interreligious cooperation there’s in a town.

Certain airports like Chicago’s O’Hare have stringent rules concerning impromptu spiritual parties whether within the chapel or outside. Some utilize their own public address systems to declare spiritual services. Others prohibit such statements and don’t dare to enable airport chaplains to place any signs that may indicate a spiritual space.

If they’re contained in airport maps, chapels are inclined to be designated with the symbol of a individual wrapped in prayer. But then, they are sometimes hard to spot. Approximately half of the present chapels are around the pre-security facet of the airport along with another half available just after passengers pass through security.

In the meantime, in LaGuardia, a Catholic chaplain holds mass at a seminar room.

What Is The Future?

The explanations for all these spaces and their variants are intensely local. These chapels show a selection of approaches to modern religion and spirituality.

So in your journeys, keep a look out for all these chapels. Notice their similarities and differences and understand how significant regional histories are to the way church-state problems are solved in airports and outside.