Monday, July 14, 2008

Airport Chaplaincy

Photo: Jonathan Cohen for The New York Times
I've always been intrigued with the ministry of airport chaplaincy, but truth be told, I have never actually seen a chaplain when I've gone into airport chapels. I have only seen airport chaplains during times of catastrophic emergencies. But, now that more travelers are having to bunk down in the airport rather than being put up at a hotel during long delays, I suspect that the importance of airport chaplaincy will rise. After all, as people are forced to spend more time in the airport itself, for long, extended periods of times during delays, it would be swell if chaplains in those airports offered some meditation sessions or conversation to calm the frazzled traveler.


Michael Barham said...

I actually know an airport chaplain, but like you, never have seen them. Have rarely, fortunately, had time to search out a chapel, much less a chaplain, but always wondered....

I do remember a lovely stain glass window at an airport where I had a six hour layover (gave up my seat, and was happy to have some time alone, between CPE and a family wedding) to process. Just sat in front of the window in a rocking chair in the warmth of sunlight and felt so calm.
Michael B

Richard said...

I don't know if it is true here in the States but I liked that in London airports, they announced over the intercom when and where actual services where being held.

Michael Barham said...

This was in a post on arriving in England for Lambeth Conference, by some folks at Episcopal News Service:

Other bishops are arriving today and tomorrow. We arrived today and were warmly greeted at the airport by the airport chaplains and other gracious volunteers who guided us through customs, made sure we got a few minutes rest, and provided us with transportation to Kent.

Seems like the subject keeps turning up!

Michael B

Searching Soul (a.k.a Darleen Pryds) said...

Thanks for your comments on this subject! I have heard announcements about services in U.S. airports...I remember a mass being announced in Chicago, for tricky thing, though, is that airports, I think, usually just have one chapel, so if you're flying out of one terminal, and the service is in another terminal, it's a problem getting through security. But perhaps if you're stranded overnight, they'd make a concession!