Sacred Spaces

The music department is active outside of the Music Hall and the Benedicta Arts Center. Events and performances can take place all over the two campuses. Among the most frequently used spaces are the Great Hall, the Abbey Church, Emmaus Chapel, and Sacred Heart Chapel.

The Great Hall

The Great Hall at St. John's served as the original abbey church until the completion of the present church in 1961. Today the hall functions as a space for dinners and social events and religious and artistic gatherings. The Great Hall boasts fabulously warm acoustics and is a favorite location for choral concerts, including regular performances by the Chamber Choir, Men's Chorus, All-College Choir, and Amadeus Chamber Symphony. The space hosts the annual Christmas at St. John's concert.

Abbey Church

The Abbey Church is the central hub of worship for both the university and the monastery at St. John's. Renowned for its revolutionary architecture designed by famed architect Marcel Breuer, the space is a spectacle for the senses, from the visual splendor of the soaring concrete and the beautiful honey-combed stained glass to the overwhelmingly echoing acoustics. In addition to the regular monastic and student religious services, the Abbey Church is used for a number of events. Seating approximately 2,000, the church is used for some of the largest events on campus, including convocation and commencement ceremonies, as well as choral concerts and festivals, organ recitals, and recording sessions.

Emmaus Chapel


Emmaus Hall holds the living spaces and classrooms for the St. John's School of Theology. The chapel in the building provides graduate theology students with a worship space always close at hand, and is also used for musical functions. The intimacy of the relatively small space makes it an excellent recital venue, particularly for vocal and liturgical music recitals.




Sacred Heart Chapel

The Sacred Heart Chapel is the primary house of worship for both the college and the monastery at the College of St. Benedict. Besides its regular use for liturgies for monastics and students, the lovely space is also used for Women's Choir concerts. Liturgies and concerts alike are enhanced by the beautiful organ and Steinway grand piano in the chapel.