Annual Candle Lighting Ceremony

Sunday Supper

‘Sunday Supper’ is one of the oldest traditions at International House. It dates back to the early 20th century before the first International House was established in 1924. The idea of ‘Sunday Supper’ began with Harry Edmonds, a YMCA official in New York and founder of the International House idea, who often invited international students to his house for supper. 

The Meaning of the Candle Lighting Ceremony and ‘Sunday Supper’ Pledge

A Candle Lighting Ceremony is held in conjunction with ‘Sunday Supper’ to bring to a close a period of sharing experiences and knowledge with friends from many parts of the world.

Today, this program brings together the International House community.  The International House Candle Lighting Ceremony held at the beginning of each academic year is one of the most special moments of the I-House experience. For students of every generation, Sunday Supper, the Candle Lighting Ceremony, and the recitation of the International House Pledge remain touchstones of their time at I-House.

International House Pledge

The International House pledge is recited at each ‘Sunday Supper’:

“As light begets light, so love, friendship, and goodwill are passed from one to another. We who have come from many nations to live in one fellowship at International House promise one another to pass the light wherever we go.”

Then and Now

One of the first Sunday Suppers held in 1933 (left). A special Sunday Supper was held on June 1, 2013, in conjunction with the Dedication of the Rockefeller Lounge as a part of the 80th Anniversary Celebration of International House (right).


Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.


This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We respect your privacy.

The University of Chicago
International House
1414 East 59th Street

Chicago, Illinois 60637-2997

Scroll to Top