The Chapel of the Holy Cross welcomes millions of pilgrims and tourists each year. This sanctuary of peace and beauty rests 250 feet high and juts out of a thousand-foot rock wall. “Solid as the rock of Peter,” this testament of beauty and peace is over 65 years old.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross Church is a Roman Catholic institution under the episcopal of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, with ministries conducted by St. John Vianney Parish, in Sedona.
The city of Sedona is known for its spiritual vortexes, which are cross-point energy fields in the earth’s grid system. These vortex areas, located near dynamic rock formations, are places where people have reported feeling powerful forces of energy and connectivity. In addition to being a place of worship, the “energy fields” of the Chapel of the Holy Cross are said to bring a sense of gratitude to visitors.
Photo Alert: With some of the world’s most magnificent sunsets and beautiful Red Rock backdrops, snapping these incredible views is worth the trip.
Built in April 1956 by a student architect of Frank Lloyd Wright’s, the Chapel was rated “#1 of the 10 Best Attractions in Sedona" by USA Today’s 10Best.com. The Chapel of the Holy Cross has spectacular views of the breath-taking Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte and Sedona’s eastern rim. The Bell Rock resembles a giant bell and is one of the most well-known Sedona vortex sites.
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Chapel of the Holy Cross History
Local rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude designed and built the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The Empire State Building compelled her to build a similar architectural feat with a holy ambiance. Initially, Staude and Frank Lloyd Wright’s son attempted a similar endeavor in Budapest, Hungary but stopped with the onset of World War II. Staude then moved back to her hometown of Sedona and chose project architects Richard Hein and August K. Strotz to help her fulfill her dream. Construction supervisor Fred Coukos built the Chapel in 18 months for $300,000. In 2008, the Sedona Historic Preservation Commission designated the Chapel a Local Historic Landmark.
Fun Fact: In 2007, Arizonans voted the Chapel to be one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona.
Chapel of the Holy Cross Gift Shop
The St. John Vianney Catholic Church runs the Chapel Gift Shop, which is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The shop is located on the lower floor of the Chapel building, where local resident artists showcase their work in the store. The shop is closed on Good Friday, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Chapel of the Holy Cross Art
Behind the altar is an incredible sculpture of Christ crucified to the Tree of Life. The art was commissioned to depict humanity’s journey from the Garden of Eden to God’s redemption, while the golden rose symbolizes the unfolding of God’s plan for humanity.
Staude's hope in building the church was that “a renewed church may come to life in the souls of men and be a levity reality” and that “men could find Christ through art.”
Other commissioned Holy Cross Art:
- God’s Mercy: This piece of art by Jacqueline Jackson is made of four silk hangings.
- Our Lady of Mercy: Miguel Martinez of Taos created this piece which was installed in 2016.
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- God’s Mercy in His Son: Artist James Muir of Sedona completed this composition.
- Michael the Archangel: This art resides at St. John’s Vianney Catholic Church.
Pro Tip: The Chapel of the Holy Cross tour typically takes guests about an hour to complete. Experts say to allow yourself 15 minutes at the Chapel.
The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona provides an extraordinary setting for your special day. Members of St. John Vianney Parish should call early to book reservations. A required meeting with Deacon Dennis is necessary for all participants. A marriage preparation process is needed within your parish or diocese.
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Any member of the Catholic Church is welcome to be married at the Chapel of the Holy Cross Church; however, outdoor weddings are not permitted. Weddings are held after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Check the chapel website for details and availability.
- Non-registered parishioners: $1,725.
- Registered parishioners: $1,125.
Religious Service Hours for St. John Vianney Parish
- Taize Prayer is on Mondays at 5:00 p.m.
- Adoration is held on Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Confessions are on Fridays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., with Mass at 3:00 p.m.
Pro Tip: If you can’t attend in person and still want to be wowed by the gorgeous architectural and peaceful vibes-you can join virtually by live streaming on Facebook or YouTube.
Mass Times for St. John Vianney Parish, 180 St. John Vianney Lane, Sedona, AZ 86336
- Monday to Friday: 8:00 a.m.
- Saturday: 5:00 p.m.
- Sunday: 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. (Bilingual service)
Chapel Hours of Operation
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., seven days a week. The church is closed on Christmas Day and Easter.
- There is no entrance fee, but donations are accepted.
- No eating, drinking or pets are allowed inside the Chapel.
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The Chapel parking lot is limited to 45 spaces. All parking is to the right of the roadway. There is a turnaround at the top of the hill where drivers can drop people off. Golf carts can assist people to the Chapel ramp.