Sacred Spaces to Visit Before Reaching 30,000 Feet

By Erin Deinzer, September 5, 2017

The installation of chapels and sacred spaces in airports was a brilliant idea, since the bustle and chaos of major airports doesn’t lend itself to reverence. Worship facilities in airports have been around since the mid-1950s when Boston Logan International Airport unveiled the nation’s first airport chapel: Our Lady of the Airways. Today, more than half the country’s busiest airports have dedicated prayer spaces, according to Pew Research. Here’s what you’ll find as far as sacred spaces in some of the nation’s larger airports.

With more than 29 million passenger boardings per year, DFW International is a Texas-sized winner in terms of worship rooms. The airport has five interfaith chapels (one in each terminal), including two in presecurity areas.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the nation’s busiest, with more than 45 million boardings. The Domestic Terminal Atrium Chapel is located outside security. Currently one priest and several deacons serve the airport.

The 11 million passengers traveling through Washington Dulles International Airport in D.C. are not only able to find a peaceful place to pray, they can also attend formal services. The airport offers worship or prayer services for those of the Christian, Jewish or Muslim faiths.

Though most airports are welcoming to multiple faiths, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (which services more than 25 million travelers per year), provides four different options: Our Lady of the Skies Chapel (Catholic), Christ for the World Chapel (Protestant), JFK International Islamic Center (Muslim) and the International Synagogue (Jewish).

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Connect is seeking nominations for the 2019 40 Under 40, honoring the brightest minds in faith events. Nominations are due March 26.

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