Exploring The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona

Author: Megha Agarwal on Aug 12,2022
Chapel of the Holy Cross

Unexpected beauty abounds in Sedona, Arizona. The natural setting of this red rock valley is so spectacular that many artists, poets and other creative types have been inspired to produce their finest work here. While the natural wonders of this small village at the base of the red rocks can be experienced any time of year, there’s an added bonus during Lent and especially on Good Friday. That’s when the Chapel of the Holy Cross puts on a visual and audio performance unlike any other place of worship. This small Catholic chapel, with just 120 seats, is tucked away in a hard-to-find location on State Route 179 north of town. Unless you know exactly where it is or specifically search for it online, you probably won’t notice it from the road. It isn’t open to visitors who want to see its interior; instead, it’s best appreciated from outside during services or concerts held there regularly throughout the year. The Chapel of the Holy Cross has become known as one of America's most unusual places of worship because its architecture blends Native American tradition with modern artistry. The main wall is constructed entirely from stone found in the area around Sedona and features an illusionary cross made completely from light that changes colors throughout different times of day and seasons. As a result, it appears to be carved directly into that same wall, whether viewed by daylight or torchlight – or even artificial light used for concerts after dark.


1. The Chapel of the Holy Cross during Lent and Good Friday


Chapel of the Holy Cross during lent

The Church invites her faithful to celebrate the season of Lent by making the sign of the cross with special reverence and attention. The way in which the sign of the cross is made and the words that accompany it have been carefully selected for the penitential season of Lent. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is one of the best places to make and renew the sign of the cross as a sacramental gesture of faith, repentance and conversion. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is also a great place to go on Good Friday, which is the anniversary of the day when Jesus was crucified. The mood of the day and the solemnity of the season are reflected in the architecture, colors, and music that are used to enhance the experience of worshiping at this unique place.


2. Committing to a fitness routine


There are many places to visit and things to do in Sedona, Arizona. But what makes this place unique is that no matter when you visit, you’ll be able to experience the best weather in the world. The state of Arizona averages 330 sunny days a year and has the least amount of humidity of any state in the country. What this means for visitors is that you can go hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities year-round. What this also means is that you can commit to a fitness routine without having to worry about inclement weather getting in the way. Sedona is a year-round destination where you can make fitness and health a priority. From July to October, temperatures are mild, averaging around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. From November to June, temperatures are mild to warm and rarely drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the many beautiful trails around Sedona that you can hike year-round is the Bell Rock Path. This trail is 3.2 miles long and is rated as moderate due to its length and steep incline. However, the trailhead has a parking lot that can fit around 20 cars and can be easily accessed all year long.


3. Where Is The Chapel of the Holy Cross - Location And Address


The Chapel of the Holy Cross is located at 699 Chapel Road. It’s just north of US Route 89A in the Village of Oak Creek. The best way to get there is to follow the signs to the "Chapel of the Holy Cross" that are posted along the road leading up to the chapel. Alternatively, you can take a cab or ride-share.


4. Good Friday Music Program At The Chapel Of The Holy Cross


The Good Friday Music Program is a special concert held each year at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This one-of-a-kind performance features a spectacular music and light show that is staged using the architecture of the chapel itself. The artistic director of this show is renowned composer Phil Barlow. This show is an experience – both for the ears and for the eyes. It’s a must-see event if you’re visiting Sedona during the Lenten season. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is open to visitors during the Good Friday Music Program. There are several seating areas available, including pews, chairs, and a standing room. Admission is free, and the show starts promptly at 3 pm.


5. Easter Vigil At The Chapel Of The Holy Cross


The Easter Vigil is a special Mass that is celebrated in the hours before sunrise on Easter Sunday. This ancient ritual takes place in places of worship around the world and begins with a period of silence followed by the lighting of candles. At the Chapel of the Holy Cross, the Easter Vigil is celebrated on Holy Saturday and is followed by a light show that is truly inspiring. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is open to visitors during the Easter Vigil. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission is free, and the ceremony starts promptly at 8 pm.


6. Sedona Red Rock Concert Series


Sedona is a great place for music lovers. Whether you prefer pop, country, jazz, blues, or rock, there’s something for every musical taste. The Sedona Red Rock Concert Series is held annually from October through May at the Sedona Arts Center. This series features performances by popular artists such as Lionel Richie and Fleetwood Mac. There are multiple shows during each event, and each show is started by a series of short, inspirational films. If you’re in Sedona during the spring and summer, you should definitely add the Sedona Red Rock Concert Series to your itinerary.


7. Tips For Visiting During Good Friday And Easter Vespers


Good Friday And Easter Vespers


The Chapel of the Holy Cross is open to visitors on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Admission is free, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. You may want to arrive at least an hour before the services begin to get a good seat. There will be a line at the entrance as people are let into the chapel. You can also attend the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday at 8 pm. Beyond these special events, you can visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross any time during your stay in Sedona. If you want to attend a service but aren’t sure when it is scheduled to take place, you can ask a security guard or other person who works at the chapel.




The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a place of worship unlike any other. It’s a place where the architecture, music, and symbolism that is used during services are designed to inspire and transform the hearts and minds of those who participate in the religious rituals that take place here. If you’re visiting Sedona during Lent or Easter, you should definitely add the Chapel of the Holy Cross to your itinerary.

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