New Catholic Dictionary illustration of 'chancel'Article

Part of the choir near the altar of a church, where the officiating clergy stand. The name is derived from cancellus, the screen which formerly divided the choir from the nave. Saint Clement’s, Rome, still preserves the sixth-century screens of the choir and presbyterium. The word sanctuary is now used for the railed enclosure about the altar. In cathedrals the part between sanctuary and nave is called choir. Anglican usage retains the term chancel which was used in England before the Reformation.

MLA Citation

  • “chancel”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 November 2019. Web. 29 January 2022. <>