The main Peace Abbey building houses the Chapel and Guesthouse. The Multi-Faith Chapel offers a sacred environment, which holds the symbols, icons, sculptures, and prayers from the twelve major faith traditions. The Bed and Breakfast, offers beautiful, quiet village center accommodations in the tradition of a New England Retreat Center.
The front building is the Conference Center where weddings and special services are held as well as training in peace education, cruelty-free living and nonviolent civil disobedience. At the center of the main room is The Peacemakers Table, around which have gathered many dedicated peace activists, including Mother Teresa, Howard Zinn, Maya Angelou, David Dellinger, Muhammad Ali, Daniel Berrigan, Barry Crimmins, Thich Nhat Hanh, to name a few. You can read some of the gracious endorsements of The Peace Abbey made by some of these visitors.
This building also houses The Pacifist Living History Museum, containing relics, personal affects, manuscripts and documents placed at the Abbey by members of the Peace Movement, friends and supporters. Each Sunday morning from 10 to 11 AM, we hold a prayer and meditation service in the Quaker room on the first floor of the Conference Center. Everyone committed to a peaceful life are invited to share in the Pacifist Service. It is a time for those who have been involved in the work of peace and social justice to renew, connect and share the sense of peace that comes through gathered silence.
Also the Conference Center houses the Greater Boston Vegetarian Resource Center, including a vast vegan and vegetarian social and culinary library of books and materials. While on the subject of reading materials, the Conference Center also contains a section of The Peace and Social Justice Library, a comprehensive resource of books and videos.
In the lower floor of the Conference Center is the Peace Abbey Coffeehouse, a unique venue for performances, recitals, gatherings, and musical concerts. Among the regular performers in the Coffeehouse are Magical Strings and “house-band” Woodwork.
Next to the large globe is the National Registry for Conscientious Objection which was created at The Peace Abbey following the war in the Persian Gulf in early 1991. The National Registry provides men and women of all ages with an opportunity to register their objection to personal, national, and international violence.
Visitors to the Peace Abbey are welcome to visit Emily’s Roadhouse which seats 35 people in rustic booths in the barn area where Emily the Cow lived for 8 years. This venue features a stage for musical performances throughout the summer months. Check the Abbey calendar for upcoming events.
Daily, dozens of people devoted to peacemaking walk the walls of the Pacifist Memorial, reading the quotes from men and women who lived their lives as pacifists and activists. Some names will be familiar such as Albert Einstein, Margaret Mead, Dr. King and Jesus, while others will be less familiar and offer an opportunity for visitors to learn more about nonviolence and the rich American tradition of pacifism.
The global requiem walk of The Peace Abbey is STONEWALK, which involves physically pulling a two ton caisson and granite stone with the engraved words “Unknown Civilians Killed in War” to important locations here in America and throughout the world. It commemorates those whose lives were lost, unrecorded, the collateral damage of military action. By this stone we honor the civilian men, women and children who perished in wars both remembered and forgotten.