May fifteenth was an occasion long to be remembered at St. Andrew's, Sewanee. For years our order has been praying for, and expecting, the time when we should be able to offer to God a house and an altar that would be an adequate expression of the faith and love we have been seeking to instill into the hearts of our people.
In the early days of St. Andrew's a good woman, poor in the world's goods but rich in love, knowing the need, sent a small sum. It was very small, to be reckoned almost in pennies, but a message came with it that transformed it into a rich offering to God's honour. "I cannot build the chapel," she said, "but I send this mite with which to begin the fund, and God will do the rest."
The fund grew, until last year, entirely unsolicited, the parish of St. Mark, in Philadelphia, gave us a generous Easter offering which enabled us to build a permanent temple of God.
The morning of May fifteenth dawned without a cloud to fleck the perfect blue of the heavens. The school assembled in the chapel. Our friends began to gather, from far and near. The nine o'clock train from Sewanee brought Bishop Gailor, and a larger company of visitors including the girls from St. Mary's.
The procession was formed and proceeded by the west door of the sanctuary. The service used was the regular Consecration Office in the Prayer Book. The Consecration ended, and the Missa de Angelis was sung by the boys.
The sermon was preached by Bishop Gailor from the text, "There standeth one among you whom ye know not." (St. John 1:26). Immediately after the sermon a class of ten was confirmed.
The chapel is a beautiful example of Spanish Mission architecture. The pure, somewhat severe, style is maintained throughout the interior. The reredos is a copy of a well-known reredos by Cravelli, the original of which is in the National Gallery in London.
With a permanent chapel, and buildings ample enough to take care of the growth for a good many years to come, St. Andrew's asks the prayers of its friends that it may be able to bear the responsibilities that lie upon it in being constituted an agency for the spiritual, moral, and intellectual development of the youth of the Tennessee mountains. With this beautiful chapel as a centre from which to work, the power of Christ through His Sacraments should penetrate the lives of His people who are coming to us hungry in heart and mind for the things God has prepared for them through our ministry. But the ministry belongs not alone to those whose privilege it is to stand in the thick of the work. Everyone who offers his prayers, or gives of his alms for the benefit of the work, is a sharer in it, and will be equally blessed with those upon whom lies the happy burden of the daily task.
Adapted from an article in The Holy Cross Magazine, July 1914.