Reserving the Chapel
Student organizations and University departments may reserve the Chapel for gatherings by calling the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life at 512.863.1527.
Facility Usage Policies
Religious events, convocations, assemblies and School of Fine Arts performances in the Chapel must be sponsored or approved by the University Chaplain.
The Chapel is available for the following types of Events:
- Religious events
- Convocations and assemblies
- Memorial Services**
- Performances sponsored by the School of Fine Arts. (Admission charges are
*The Chapel is available for weddings and may be reserved up to a year in advance. A fee and deposit are required for weddings. (See Wedding Contract for details and services available.) University policies preclude renting the Chapel during the month of August.
**The Chapel is available for the memorial services of retired and active faculty, staff, administrators, present and former trustees (and their immediate families respectively), students and alumni. No charges will be assessed.
Hours of Operation Academic Year: Open from 8am until midnight except when the University is closed. Summer: Open 8am-5pm Monday – Friday. Locked on weekends.
Priorities for building use are as follows:
University-related events have priority over external constituent requests. The University reserves the right to make judgments concerning facility usage and cancel events that are deemed dangerous and/or are not in compliance with regulations.
Regulations for Use
- The religious purpose of the Chapel and the nature, purpose, and mission of the University are to be maintained, and the users are to agree to conduct the event in a manner which is consistent therewith.
- The consumption, possession, or distribution of alcoholic beverages or any controlled substance is not permitted in the Chapel, Chapel Courtyard, or Chapel Lounge at any time.
- Eating, drinking, smoking or the use of other tobacco products is prohibited in the Chapel.
- Smoking or the use of other tobacco products is prohibited in the Chapel Lounge and Courtyard.
- Flash photography is prohibited during services. Check with the clergy performing the service regarding his/her policies about other photography during the ceremony.
- User(s) is/are responsible for returning all facilities to their pre-event condition.
- Decorations must retain the Chapel’s beauty and character as a place of worship. Decorations must be kept to a minimum and in good taste in the sole discretion of the University.
- At no time may any religious symbols, which include the altar candles and cloths, the processional cross, the lectern, or pulpit hangings be removed, relocated or modified. The altar cloths (paraments) will be white for wedding ceremonies.
- Because the altar is a central focus of the Chapel, the area including the steps from the nave, past the choir stalls and extending to the altar is to be kept clear, so that visibility of and access to the altar is unimpeded. Furniture or furnishings, including candelabra or floral arrangements may not be placed in this area. (See attached drawing.) Exceptions are made on occasion with written permission from the University Chaplain.
- Floral arrangements and candelabras may be placed in the chancel area (e.g., on either side of and behind the altar and beside the lectern and pulpit).
- Only dripless candles can be used. Plastic sheets must be placed beneath the candelabra or candleholders. Candles may not be placed on the ends of pews, in the window sills or on the wooden railings on either side of the pulpit and lectern.
- Removal of fixed furniture is not permitted.
- No structural modifications are allowed in the Lois Perkins Chapel.
- Wrapped wire should be used to attach greenery and ribbons. Do not use nails, tacks or tape.
- Throwing rice is prohibited. Birdseed may be thrown outside the Chapel only.
- Horses and carriages are not allowed on University grounds.
- No animals except service animals are allowed in the Chapel and Chapel Lounge.
- No vehicles are allowed on the walkway in front of the Chapel. The wedding party, family members, agents, employees, patrons, guests, invitees and vendors must adhere to the roads and parking areas of the campus.
- Wedding parties are responsible for their actions as well as the actions of their guests, representatives and vendors. The wedding party or its representative must inform guests and vendors of the rules and regulations for Chapel use and provide them copies of these special conditions if necessary.
- Chalking is not allowed on the exterior of the Chapel, Chapel Lounge, Chapel garden, Chapel entry ways, Chapel steps or the area around the seal or on the seal.
- Groups using the Chapel will be held financially responsible for the repair of damages resulting from improper use that may occur while occupying this facility.
- It is the wedding party’s responsibility to find and secure the minister, discuss denominational specifics, and compensate him/her for services. In order to perform a wedding ceremony in the Lois Perkins Chapel, a minister must be ordained and recognized by his/her denomination/church (not through an internet ordination) and the laws of the State of Texas subject to the approval by the University in its sole discretion. When scheduling a minister for your wedding, please confirm that the minister can attend both the rehearsal and the wedding.
- If a wedding couple wishes to include Eucharist as a part of their ceremony, they must make all arrangements for elements and serving pieces with their minister. Southwestern University does not provide elements and serving pieces.
External constituents wishing to rent the Chapel must contact University Events (512.863.1480) and purchase a Certificate of Insurance. All aspects of this requirement are explained in the University’s Agreement for Use of Facilities for Weddings.
Southwestern University is not responsible for injuries sustained or property lost/damaged while persons participate in its facilities.
Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the University Chaplain.