What is chapel?

Chapel

A chapel is a religious place of fellowship, prayer and worship – most often associated with Christian, and less often Jewish, services. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, synagogue, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. Many military installations have chapels for the use of military personnel, normally under the leadership of a military chaplain. Until the Protestant Reformation, a chapel denoted a place of worship that was either at a secondary location that was not the main responsibility of the local parish priest, or that belonged to a person or institution. Most larger churches had one or more secondary altars, which if they occupied a distinct space, would often be called a chapel. Although chapels frequently refer to Christian places of worship, they are also commonly found in Jewish synagogues and do not necessarily connote a specific denomination. Non-denominational chapels are commonly encountered as part of a non-religious institution such as a hospital, airport, university, prison or military installation. In England, where the Church of England is established by law, nondenominational or inter-faith chapels in such institutions may nonetheless be consecrated by the local Anglican bishop.

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Famous quotes containing the word chapel:

    The religion of England is part of good-breeding. When you see on the continent the well-dressed Englishman come into his ambassador’s chapel and put his face for silent prayer into his smooth-brushed hat, you cannot help feeling how much national pride prays with him, and the religion of a gentleman.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    whan he rood, men myghte his brydel heere
    Gynglen in a whistlynge wynd als cleere
    And eek as loude as dooth the chapel belle.
    Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?–1400)

    I never went near the Wellesley College chapel in my four years there, but I am still amazed at the amount of Christian charity that school stuck us all with, a kind of glazed politeness in the face of boredom and stupidity. Tolerance, in the worst sense of the word.... How marvelous it would have been to go to a women’s college that encouraged impoliteness, that rewarded aggression, that encouraged argument.
    Nora Ephron (b. 1941)