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chancel

chancel, primarily that part of the church close to the altar and used by the officiating clergy. In the early churches it was separated from the nave by a low parapet or open railing (cancellus), its name being thus derived. San Clemente at Rome has one of the few preserved examples. With the development of the choir, additional space was taken, between the sanctuary and the nave, for the accommodation of the canons and singers. The chancel rail was moved forward, and the entire space became known as the choir, although it is also termed the chancel; there is no strict differentiation in the usage. In the Middle Ages the chancel rail was replaced by lofty choir screens (see rood), especially in English cathedrals and in monastic churches.

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chancel

chancel. Liturgical eastern part of a church, used by those officiating in the services, and often defined by a cancellus (from which the term is derived) or screen. It contains the sanctuary and altar, and often embraces the choir, especially in larger churches where the chancel is part of the main body of the building east of the crossing.

Bibliography

F. Bond (1916)

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chancel

chancel the part of a church near the altar, reserved for the clergy and choir, and typically separated from the nave by steps or a screen. The word is recorded from Middle English, and comes (via Old French) from Latin cancelli ‘crossbars’.

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chancel

chancel part of a church reserved for clergy and choir. XIV. — OF. chancel (now in latinized form cancel) :- L. cancellī lattice, grating, dim. of cancer lattice, perh. dissimilated form of carcer barrier, prison.

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chancel

chan·cel / ˈchansəl/ • n. the part of a church near the altar, reserved for the clergy and choir, and typically separated from the nave by steps or a screen.

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chancel

chancelhassle, Kassel, passel, tassel, vassal •axel, axle •cancel, hansel, Hänsel, Mansell •transaxle •castle, metatarsal, parcel, tarsal •chancel • sandcastle • Newcastle •Bessel, nestle, pestle, redressal, trestle, vessel, wrestle •Edsel • Texel •intercensal, pencil, stencil •pretzel • staysail • mainsail • Wiesel •abyssal, bristle, epistle, gristle, missal, scissel, thistle, whistle •pixel • plimsoll •tinsel, windsail •schnitzel, spritsail •Birtwistle •paradisal, sisal, trysail •apostle, colossal, dossal, fossil, glossal, jostle, throstle •consul, proconsul, tonsil •dorsal, morsel •council, counsel, groundsel •Mosul • fo'c's'le, forecastle •bustle, hustle, muscle, mussel, Russell, rustle, tussle •gunsel • corpuscle •disbursal, dispersal, Purcell, rehearsal, reversal, succursal, tercel, transversal, traversal, universal •Herzl

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