Named after the school's first headmaster, Frank D. Ashburn, the chapel is a gathering place for the campus community, but it is also much more than that.
What happens during a typical chapel service? Three times a week, students and faculty gather in the chapel. There is music; hymns are sung; prayers are said; and readings are delivered. Throughout the year, many students and faculty speak in the chapel, often sharing personal stories that hold great meaning to them. The senior prefect, head of school and school minister all speak frequently. Outside guests — alumni, religious leaders from the Episcopal Church or other denominations and faiths — also speak to the community.
In the chapel, the school demonstrates a broad understanding of spirituality and the spiritual life. While recognizing that spirituality takes different shapes in different individuals, the chapel program holds closely to the conviction that moral development and the building of character are important parts of the Brooks School education.
For those students who seek a deeper level of faith, the chapel provides a number of helpful programs. Over the years, students have formed several Christian student groups, overseen by a member of the faculty. Varying from year-to-year, these student-led groups provide students with both a means to gather in fellowship and an opportunity to deepen their faith.
Current students may participate in the newly formed and developing Religious Life Council. This is a group of students from various religions —Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Christian — who come together to promote religious awareness and develop special religious activities on campus.
The Episcopal Church
Named after Phillips Brooks, the 19th-century Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts and world-renowned preacher, Brooks School has a historical relationship with the Episcopal Church. An Episcopal bishop makes an annual visit to the school for confirmation, and often a bishop from the Diocese of Massachusetts speaks in chapel each year. While Brooks has a long-standing connection to the Episcopal Church, chapel services are designed to be flexible and welcoming for all in the community, no matter their faith or upbringing.
Whose name is light, whose name is love,
Here be thy truth and goodness known,
And make these fields and halls thine own.
Thy temple gates stand open wide;
O Christ, we enter at thy side,
With thee to consecrate our pow'rs,
And make our Father's business ours.
For days of drought which yet shall be,
On untrod land, on unsail'd sea,
We kneel and fill our cup of youth,
At these fair fountains of thy truth.
O world, all bright and brave and young,
With deeds unwrought and songs unsung,
For all the strength thy tasks will give
We greet thee, we, about to live.
Father, thy children bless the care
Which sheds thy sunlight ev'rywhere,
Shine on our school and let us be
Teachers and scholars taught by thee.