“A stone chapel, artful in every detail, where guests may meditate and worship.”
Built in 1911, the Chapel was the first building on the main grounds of the Fraternity. It was the only building completed for the first convocation. The Chapel contains all of the fixtures typically found in a place of worship, including an altar, organ, pulpit and comfortable chairs. In the front of the altar is encased a stain glass window, originally from one of the Templar Churches in France. This thirteenth century “Light of the East” is said to have come from one of the Churches that Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, worshipped. A Templar Initiate saved the stain glass window from destruction and it eventually found its way to America. The specimen was obtained by a student of the Fraternity and donated to Beverly Hall. It is the only window of its kind currently known to exist.
The ancient Templar, like all Philosophic Initiates, symbolized their aspirations and the ultimate of their work, the attainment of the Light, Soul Illumination. In special places, such as the mother Church were de Molay worshipped, they placed a stained glass in the East that symbolized the light or fire of the soul, sometimes called the Flamen. The color combination was such that when the sun rose in the East, a worshipper standing or kneeling before it, saw the Light of the Flame winging its way upward toward heaven.
In the early morning before sunrise, the Knights would proceed to the Church and there kneel in worship. AS the sun rose in the East and its rays penetrated through the symbolic glass, the flame would be clear visible. This symbolized the Light of the Soul Illumination that all Knights were seeking and which some had actually found within them.
The Chapel has always been considered the heart of, or the Mecca for, the Great Work. For this reason, it was built from native stones found on the Beverly Hall property and specially cut for this purpose. In 1917, members of the Imperial Order of the Magi provided the means to enlarge the Chapel in order to accommodate larger convocations.
The Chapel serves the purposes of religious worship, communion services, christening, marriages and funeral services. During convocations, members spend individual time in silence for prayer and meditation. Here in the stillness of the Chapel, in absolute privacy, students and members try to contact their Soul, experience uplifting feelings and receive inspiration from God.