Special Services

The Chapel may be reserved for Memorial Services, Funerals and Baptisms. Please contact the Chapel at heinzchapel@pitt.edu to inquire about fees and availability. Below are guidelines for use of the Chapel for these types of services. When making a reservation, we will let you know any changes to these guidelines due to University COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures.

Please note that Heinz Memorial Chapel will undergo external renovations to its spire through June 2023. This restoration is essential for the long-term preservation of this historic, treasured structure. The work will occur on the outside of the building and will not interfere with your service or event. Please email with any questions heinzchapel@pitt.edu.

Reservations

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Reserving the Chapel

Memorial, Funeral, Baptism and other Services may be held at the Chapel based on availability. Fees are noted under each type of service. In all instances a separate fee will apply for the services of an organist and for parking, if required. Please contact the Chapel at heinzchapel@pitt.edu to inquire about availability.

Chapel Personnel

As part of your fee, the Chapel provides one to two coordinators to coordinator your time in the Chapel. Chapel staff will contact you to clarify details of your service. Those details may include (e.g., clergy, speakers, flowers, printed programs, etc.)

Flowers & Decorations

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Flowers and Decorations

Decoration placement and flower deliveries must occur during the access time before and after the service. All decorations must be removed at the end of the service. Boutonnieres and Corsages may be distributed from the desk in the narthex.  It is essential that they be clearly labeled and that the florist or a family member be present to identify the recipients.

Programs and guest books can be set out for guests. Candles are allowed only in the chancel area. Lighted candles, flameless candles and lanterns may not be used on pew ends or in the aisles.

Liquid, wine, beer, chemicals, oil, sand, dirt or grains are not permitted. Throwing rice, confetti, birdseed, or flower petals (real or artificial) is not allowed inside or outside the Chapel.

Butterfly, insect or bird releases and sparklers are not permissible on the Chapel grounds.

Heinz Chapel follows the University of Pittsburgh's Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals Policy

Alcoholic beverages, except for traditional communion wine, are not allowed in Heinz Chapel.

Photography & Videography

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Photography & Videography

Photos and video of the service may be taken from the following locations:  the ends of the modified front pews, the double doors of the narthex, the left and right side aisles, the center aisle behind the last seated guests, or the gallery. Photos and video of those being escorted to their seats and of the processional may be taken from the base of the chancel steps. Auxiliary lighting may be used before and after, but not during the service.

Setup and breakdown for photography and videography must occur during the access time before and after the service.

Use of drones inside the Chapel or on the Chapel grounds is not permitted.

Photography and videography of services for third party use such as television programs, advertising, etc. is not permitted.

Music

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Music and Organist

You may request a Chapel organist to play for your service. A separate fee applies and is based on availability. The organist will play a 15 minute prelude as guests are being seated. At the conclusion of your service the organist will play a recessional march and a short postlude as your guests exit the chapel. Audio samples of various pieces are available on our website. Contact information for your organist will be given once the fee is paid and music selections should be made directly with the organist. The organist may play other requested selections during the ceremony. These may include hymns, service music, or other liturgical responses. All special music requests must be made, approved, and legible sheet music provided before the service.

Requests for guest organists must be submitted in writing prior to the service to heinzchapel@pitt.edu along with a letter of credentials. The Chapel reserves the right to determine if the guest organist is qualified to play the Chapel organ.

Notification to the Chapel of any outside musicians (cantors, wind instruments, strings, etc.) must be made prior to your service. Musicians requesting organ accompaniment should contact the organist directly. Musical groups must be counted as your attendees and fit within the building space. Special permission for musicians to access the balcony must be obtained. The Chapel can provide microphones, stands and music stands for musicians, but equipment is limited.

Permission for recorded music must be made in writing to the Chapel. The reserving party is responsible for bringing their own equipment and speakers and must assign someone to work the equipment. Other than microphones, no other Chapel sound equipment or systems may be accessed.

Clergy

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Clergy

The chapel is nondenominational and has no clergy on staff. It is the responsibility of the reserving party to secure someone to preside over the service and to determine the details of the service.

Access & Parking

Please contact the Chapel Office at heinzchapel@pitt.edu regarding its COVID-19 Public Health and Safety Measures and any changes to these guidelines.

Access

The reserving party has access to the chapel 45 minutes before the scheduled time of the service and 30 minutes following the service. Access times are strictly enforced. Participants and guests who arrive prior to the scheduled access time may be denied entrance to the building.

Parking

Reserved parking can be provided during your access time for a separate fee. If available, the parking will be located on the left side of Bellefield Avenue. A Pittsburgh Police Officer will be present to direct the parking. Please remind your guests and vendors that this parking is provided only during your access time to the Chapel and grounds. Cars not removed once your access ends, may be ticketed or towed.

Accessible Parking and Entrance

There are two accessible parking spaces adjacent to the chapel on Bellefield Avenue. You must have the designated plate or hang tag to park in the spaces. A level, paved sidewalk leads from the two accessible parking spaces to an automatic door on the north side of the chapel (facing Fifth Avenue). An elevator provides access to the chapel and an accessible restroom on the lower level.

Chapel Seating

The chapel seats approximately 350 people comfortably.

Service Animals and Pets

Only service animals are permitted in Heinz Chapel. For further information please see the University of Pittsburgh's Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals Policy.

Waiting Areas

The Chapel can provide a lounge area for the family prior to the service. The Chapel is not responsible for personal items and valuables. These should be removed from the rooms before the service and kept with family members or friends.

Site Tours

Currently, the Chapel and other University buildings are closed to visitors. Special arrangements must be made to visit the building by emailing heinzchapel@pitt.edu.

Chapel Address for Invitation Purposes:

Heinz Memorial Chapel
University of Pittsburgh
Fifth and Bellefield Avenues
Pittsburgh, PA 15260


Decorations

The decorating guidelines are based on past experience and are designed to protect the chapel structure and ensure an equitable situation for all who schedule weddings in the building.

  • Your florist has access to the chapel 45 minutes prior to the scheduled ceremony time.  Please keep in mind that the arrival and seating of guests also takes place during that time.
  • All decorations brought in for a wedding must be removed at the end of the ceremony.
  • The florist must provide sufficient staff for the placement and removal of decorations within the allotted access and departure times.
You or your florist may provide any or all of the following decorations:

Altar flowers

The top of the altar measures eight feet long and 21 inches deep.

Bows on the ends of pews

Flowers may be incorporated in the bows.  The bows may only be attached with ribbon, rubber bands, or elasticized thread.  Arrangements on metal or plastic clips may be used if the clips are wrapped.  There are 48 pews (24 per side). The measurement around the end of each pew is 36 inches.  Allow enough extra ribbon for tying.

Aisle Runner

If an aisle runner is used, it must be 100 feet in length.  For safety reasons, plastic aisle runners are not allowed.

Unity Candle

The chapel can provide a brass holder.

Only wax candles are allowed for a Unity Ceremony at Heinz Chapel.  Wine, sand, chemicals, beer, oil or grains are not permitted.  Alcoholic beverages, except for traditional communion wine, are not allowed at wedding ceremonies in Heinz Chapel.

Candelabra

Two floor candelabra may be used in the chancel area.  The use of dripless or mechanical candles is strongly recommended.

Boutonnieres and Corsages

These may be distributed from the desk in the narthex.  It is essential that all boutonnieres and corsages be clearly labeled and that the florist or a family member be present to identify the recipients.

Please note:

  • Throwing rice, confetti, birdseed, or flower petals is not allowed.
  • Lighted candles may not be used on pew ends, in the aisle, or in the procession.

Photography & Videography

Photography During the Ceremony

Photos of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding processional may be taken from the base of the chancel steps.

Photos of the ceremony may be taken from the following locations:  the ends of the modified front pews, the double doors of the narthex, the left and right side aisles, the center aisle behind the last seated guests, or the gallery.

Photos may be taken from the base of the chancel steps for any of the following:

  • Exchange of vows and rings
  • Lighting of the unity candle
  • Sign of peace/Greeting of the parents
  • Tribute to the Blessed Mother
  • Breaking of the glass

Videography During the Ceremony

Videography of family members being escorted to their seats and of the wedding processional may be taken from the base of the chancel steps.

Videography of the ceremony may be taken from the following locations:  the ends of the modified front pews, the ambulatory door on the left side of the chancel, the left and right side aisles, the center aisle behind the last seated guests, or the gallery.

Auxiliary lighting may be used before and after, but not during, the ceremony.

After the Ceremony

One hour is allocated for the ceremony and photography.  A delay in the scheduled start time or a particularly lengthy ceremony will reduce the amount of time available for photography and videography.   All participants must adhere to the scheduled departure time.

Photography and videography of weddings for third party use such as television programs, advertising, etc. is not permitted.

Music

The Heinz Chapel pipe organ reflects the magnificence of the building and will enhance the beauty and grandeur of your wedding with music appropriate to the setting.

Rehearsal

A Chapel organist will be at your rehearsal to play your chosen processional and recessional marches, finalize placement of all music for your ceremony, and rehearse with any additional musicians, if needed.

Wedding

The organist will play a 15 minute organ prelude as guests are being seated, the processional march, and any music you have requested during the ceremony.  The wedding couple should consult with their officiant regarding the style of music and specific pieces that may be performed.  Many officiants permit only sacred or liturgical music during the ceremony.  At the conclusion of your ceremony the organist will play the recessional march and a short postlude as your guests exit the chapel.

Wedding Marches

Audio samples of the processional and recessional pieces are available on the music selection form and you may submit your choices electronically from the website.  A trumpet may be used with some of the marches.  If you elect to include a trumpet, the trumpeter should attend the wedding rehearsal.

Processional Marches

You will need one march for the attendants and one for the principal.  Or, you may elect to have        one march for both the attendants and the principal.                                                  

Jeremiah Clarke, Trumpet Voluntary in D Major
John Stanley, Trumpet Voluntary in D Major
Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Prelude (from Te Deum)
André Campra, Rigaudon (from Idomenée)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Ode to Joy
Johann Pachelbel, Canon in D
Jean-Joseph Mouret, Rondeau (from Sinfonie de Fanfares)
Richard Wagner, Wedding Chorus (from Lohengrin) (Principal only)
George Frideric Handel, Overture to the Fireworks Music (Principal only)
George Frideric Handel, "The Rejoicing" (from the Fireworks Music) (Principal only)

Recessional Marches

You will need only one march:

Henry Purcell, Trumpet Tune in C Major
Felix Mendelssohn, Wedding Music (from Midsummer Night's Dream)
Ludwig van Beethoven, Ode to Joy
George Frideric Handel, Hornpipe (from Water Music)
Benedetto Marcello, Psalm 19, "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God"
Charles-Marie Widor, Toccata (from the Fifth Organ Symphony)
Jean-Joseph Mouret, Rondeau (from Sinfonie de Fanfares)
Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Now Thank We All Our God

Prelude and Postlude Music

The organist will select from a variety of fine organ music.  Violin, flute, or other chamber instruments with or without organ accompaniment may be included during the prelude/postlude. The organist will not play transcriptions of piano or orchestral works or popular contemporary tunes.

Other Musicians

Vocalists and instrumentalists are welcome at Heinz Chapel.  The wedding couple should make arrangements directly with any additional musicians they wish to include.  Those requiring organ accompaniment need to attend the wedding rehearsal and should provide complete and legible sheet music, in advance, to the organist.  During the ceremony a limit of three musical selections is advised.

Recorded music is not permitted in the chapel.

If you wish to discuss any of the above please call the Heinz Chapel office, 412-624-4157, to speak with one of our wedding coordinators.

Officiants

Your Officiant

The chapel is nondenominational and has no clergy on staff. It is the responsibility of the wedding couple to secure an officiant to preside at the ceremony. Clergy of religious denominations recognized by the University of Pittsburgh’s Association of Chaplains are welcome, as are civil officiants.

It is crucial that your officiant be aware of the dates and times of the wedding rehearsal and ceremony. Should the officiant fail to be present for the wedding ceremony, there is no one at the chapel who could act as a replacement and your ceremony would have to be cancelled.