Hospital chapels are available for use by patients, staff and visitors as
places of prayer and meditation. In larger installations they may also be used
for the conduct of liturgies and devotional services. In these circumstances
the necessary liturgical furnishings and artifacts are provided together with
appropriate storage for them.
Character. A nonsectarian ambience is required and at the same time
the architectural qualities which imply a religious intention (see supra
Section 1, paragraph 6c). Light, color, and more than conventional vertical
space are useful resources. There are several nonsectarian symbols that may be
moving water, flame, birds, flowers and other growing things, and certain
works of art. Symbolic images like the burning bush and quotations from the
Hebrew scriptures such as the 23rd Psalm recall to Christians, Jews and
(excluding images) Moslems the presence of the divine, but are less meaningful
to people of the far eastern religions.
Location. Preferred locations are those readily accessible to
patients, and at high traffic locations. Sound control is to be considered, as
well as visual privacy.
Furnishings and Equipment. General seating should be in movable
upholstered arm chairs with about 15 percent of the seating supplied in space
for wheelchairs and gurneys. Liturgical furnishings shall be portable and
minimal. No platform is needed. The altar/table as small as 36 inches (900 mm)
square) and a small pulpit are supplemented by a credence. Focal symbols may
be limited to a processional cross and menorah. A piano is sufficient but a
small self-contained electronic organ is possible. Provision shall be made for
devotional literature of various types. A sign board for identifying the
chapel and for announcement of service times is required.
An electronic speaker within these small rooms should not be necessary;
however, an electronic sound and video system is necessary so that the sound
may be enhanced for the hard-of-hearing. and so that the events of worship can
be transmitted to bedside television sets.