Upon entering the nave, visitors pass under the oak gallery supporting the Flentrop organ. In niches flanking the doors from the narthex are statues of Knowledge and Piety—physical embodiments of Duke University’s motto, Eruditio et Religio (Latin for “Knowledge and Faith”).
The nave seats about 1,600 people (the transepts seat 1,500). It is 73 feet high and 39 feet wide. Its ceiling consists of repeating arches that meet at carved bosses, to create a vision of order and unity. Above the north and south aisles are the triforia—arcaded passageways that run between the nave below and the clerestory windows above.
The sweeping center aisle provides a superb view of the nave’s stained-glass windows. The backgrounds of these windows feature alternating blue and ruby elements, which blend in certain lights to give the nave a pleasant violet glow.