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Crossword clues for chancel

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ At the far end, in the tiny chancel, the sanctuary light glowed.
▪ It has a nave, chancel and low embattled tower.
▪ The chancel was built in 173 3.
▪ The arch between the nave and the chancel is also Norman with zig-zag ornaments.
▪ The present church is a church of many periods, the most ancient part being the chancel.
▪ The present church is the chancel of the original church with Norman-style pillars.
▪ The semi-circular chancel is covered by a semi-dome.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

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.)

  1. That part of a church, reserved for the use of the clergy, where the altar, or communion table, is placed. Hence, in modern use;

  2. All that part of a cruciform church which is beyond the line of the transept farthest from the main front.

    Chancel aisle (Arch.), the aisle which passes on either side of or around the chancel.

    Chancel arch (Arch.), the arch which spans the main opening, leading to the chancel.

    Chancel casement, the principal window in a chancel.

    Chancel table, the communion table.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1300, "part of the church around the altar," from Old French chancel, from Late Latin cancellus "lattice," from Latin cancelli (plural) "grating, bars" (see cancel); sense extended in Late Latin from the lattice-work that separated the choir from the nave in a church to the space itself.


n. The space around the altar in a church, often enclosed, for use by the clergy and the choir. In medieval cathedrals the chancel was usually enclosed or blocked off from the nave by an altar screen.


n. area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir; often enclosed by a lattice or railing [syn: sanctuary, bema]


In church architecture, the chancel is the space around the altar, including the choir and the sanctuary (sometimes called the presbytery), at the liturgical east end of a traditional Christian church building. It may terminate in an apse. It is generally the area used by the clergy and choir during worship, while the congregation is in the nave. This is one definition, sometimes called the "strict" one; in practice in churches where the eastern end contains other elements such as an ambulatory and side chapels, these are also often counted as part of the chancel, especially when discussing architecture. In smaller churches, where the altar is backed by the outside east wall, and there is no distinct choir, the chancel and sanctuary may be the same area. In churches with a retroquire area behind the altar, this may only be included in the broader definition of chancel.

In a cathedral or other large church there may be a distinct choir area at the start of the chancel (looking from the nave), before reaching the sanctuary, and an ambulatory may run beside and behind it; all these may be included in the chancel, at least in architectural terms (see above). In many churches the altar has now been moved to the front of the chancel, in what was built as the choir area, or to the centre of the transept, somewhat confusing the distinction between chancel, choir and sanctuary. In churches with less traditional plans the term may not be useful in either architectural or ecclesiastical terms. The chancel may be a step or two higher than the level of the nave, and the sanctuary is often raised still further. The chancel is very often separated from the nave by altar rails, or a rood screen, a sanctuary bar, or an open space, and its width and roof height is often different from that of the nave; usually the chancel will be narrower and lower.

In churches with a traditional Latin cross plan, and a transept and central crossing, the chancel usually begins at the eastern side of the central crossing, often under an extra-large chancel arch supporting the crossing and the roof. This is an arch which separates the chancel from the nave and transept of a church. If the chancel, strictly defined as choir and sanctuary, does not fill the full width of a medieval church, there will usually be some form of low wall or screen at its sides, demarcating it from the ambulatory or parallel side chapels.

As well as the altar, the sanctuary may house a credence table and seats for officiating and assisting ministers. In some churches, the congregation may gather on three sides or in a semicircle around the chancel. In some churches, the pulpit and lectern may be in the chancel, but in others these, especially the pulpit, are in the nave.

Usage examples of "chancel".

The Bishop leapt the chancel rail and was about to seize him when Miss Airedale, loyal to the last, interposed.

It was by her brave duteousness that his mutilated body was buried in the chancel of Chelsea Church.

There, godlings scurried about the chancel, arranging vases of fireflowers around the altar.

Or was the vault under the chancel of Gateshead Church an inviting bourne?

I could about Hugo Driver, which is when I learned about Shorelands, and after a while I came to New York so I could get a job at Chancel.

I met Lincoln Chancel at Shorelands, and before I knew what was what, he hired me to work for him.

As he spoke he began the sacred choreography, briskly striding from one end of the chancel rail to the other, bent forward at the hips, half turned toward the nave.

Hollywood, I was at Screen Gems writing Circle of Fear and a segment of The Flying Nun and a little ghosting on Police Story, and William Castle had bought the rights to The Shadow, and I went to him and told him I'd write the damned screenplay for nothing, not a centavo, zip, nada, just gimme a chancel He had hired me for Circle of Fear, and he was high on my work, but he laughed and said he'd already assigned the script.

It had much to say of Morton Church: of the saddle - back tower and the strange beasts at the south door, of the priest's chamber over the chancel, of the small newel - stair of oak carved with angels by which it was reached, and the black - letter books in the chamber.

He came back to the door and knelt on the threshold and looked along the edges of that and the newel stair, then ran down and pored over the chancel floor.

She said she couldn't talk to me, her husband was up in the room over the chancel and might be down any moment.

Sir Charles and Lady Wyndham - for though Cranbury House stands in Hursley parish, it is so much nearer to Otterbourne that the inhabitants generally attend the church there, - and two huge square pews in the chancel, one lined with red baize, the other bare, were appropriated to Cranbury, and might well have been filled by the children of Sir Charles and Dame James his wife - Jacoba in her marriage register at Hursley - for they had no less than seventeen children, of whom only five died in infancy, a small proportion in those days of infant mortality.

Commandments on the chancel arch were whitewashed out, and a tablet in blue with gold lettering erected in their stead on each side of the altar.

The plan and dimensions followed those of the old church, and were ample enough, the north aisle a good deal shorter than the chancel, and all finished with gables crow-stepped in the Dutch fashion.

The chancel was, as in most of the new churches built at this time, only deep enough for the sanctuary, as surpliced choirs had not been thought possible in villages, and so many old chancels had been invaded by the laity that it was an object to keep them out.