Memorial Church Rose Window

Memorial Church is christened

The dedicatory service of Memorial Church marks a milestone event in the artistic life at Stanford. As an early pamphlet on the church summarizes, “the Memorial Church is the center of a carefully planned musical program.  Architectural surroundings, choral programs, organ recitals, and music for special occasions offer a rich spiritual and cultural environment. A selected sixty-five voice student choir under the direction of Harold C. Schmidt regularly provides the music for the Sunday Church service. The performance of works by Gabrieli, Palestrina, Purcell, Bach, and Handel is a regular feature of the choral program.”

Memorial Church Eye of God

All-seeing Eye of God, in original apse construction, before 1906. Stanford Historical Photograph Collection


In addition, university organists engaged in bi-weekly organ program every Thursday and Sunday. The first wedding held in 1903 married class of 1902 couple Ethel Rhodes and William Armfield Holt, and Memorial Church currently hosts hundreds of weddings per year. The St. Lawrence String Quartet and Chanticleer (co-sponsored by Stanford Live) perform in the church annually. Moreover, the church’s choral groups sing for the Advent Lessons and Carols service every year and during the candlelight Compline service every Sunday evening.

Wedding in chancel, Memorial Church


Featured image: Memorial Church with original rose window and clock tower, pre-1906.  Stanford Historical Photograph Collection