Chancel


Chancel
Chancel area of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, with raised level
The groin-arched chancel of St. Matthew's German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina

In church architecture, the chancel is the space around the altar in the sanctuary at the liturgical east end of a traditional Christian church building. It may terminate in an apse.

Following the exposition of the doctrine of transubstantiation at the fourth Lateran Council of 1215, clergy were required to ensure that the blessed sacrament was to be kept protected from irreverent access or abuse; and accordingly the area of the church used by the lay congregation was to be screened off from that used by the clergy. This distinction was enforced by the development of canon law, by which the construction and upkeep of the chancel was the responsibility of the rector, whereas the construction and upkeep of the nave was the responsibility of the parish.

As well as the altar, the chancel usually houses the credence table, and seats for officiating and assisting ministers. In Anglican and Methodist churches it will usually include the choir. In some traditions, the pulpit and lectern may be in the chancel, but in others these functions are considered proper to the nave.

The chancel is typically raised somewhat above the level of the nave, where the congregation gathers. It may be separated from the nave by a rood screen, a rail, or an open space. In some churches, the congregation may gather on three sides or in a semicircle around the chancel.

The word "chancel" derives from the French usage of chancel from a Late Latin word cancelli meaning "lattice".[1] This refers to the typical form of rood screens.

The chancel arch is the arch which separates the chancel (sanctuary or choir) from the nave of a church.

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Harper, Douglas (November 2001). "Chancel". Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=c&p=9. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • CHANCEL — Clôture de pierre ou de métal qui, dans l’art paléochrétien et parfois postérieurement, forme un enclos rectangulaire dans la nef principale d’une église. Situé en avant de l’abside, le chancel sépare ainsi le chœur liturgique des autres parties… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Chancel — Chan cel, n. [OF. chancel, F. chanceau, cancel, fr. L. cancelli lattices, crossbars. (The chancel was formerly inclosed with lattices or crossbars) See {Cancel}, v. t.] (Arch.) (a) That part of a church, reserved for the use of the clergy, where… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Chancel — • Part of the choir near the altar of a church, where the deacons or sub deacons stand to assist the officiating priest Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Chancel     Chancel      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Chancel — ist der Name folgender Personen: Gustave Chancel Pierre Chancel Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • chancel — (n.) c.1300, from O.Fr. chancel, from L.L. cancellus lattice, from L. cancelli (pl.) grating, bars (see CANCEL (Cf. cancel)); so called for the lattice work that separated the chancel from the nave in a church …   Etymology dictionary

  • chancel — [chan′səl] n. [ME chauncel < OFr chancel < LL cancellus < L cancelli, pl., lattices: see CANCEL] the part of a church around the altar, usually at the east end, reserved for the use of the clergy and the choir: it is sometimes set off by …   English World dictionary

  • chancel — CHANCEL. s. m. Voyez Cancel …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • chancel — ► NOUN ▪ the part of a church near the altar, reserved for the clergy and choir. ORIGIN from Latin cancelli crossbars …   English terms dictionary

  • Chancel — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Chancel (homonymie). Chancel de l Église Sainte Sabine de Rome …   Wikipédia en Français

  • chancel — chanceled, chancelled, adj. /chan seuhl, chahn /, n. the space about the altar of a church, usually enclosed, for the clergy and other officials. [1275 1325; ME < MF < LL cancellus lattice, railing or screen before the altar of a church, L… …   Universalium