Chancel (presbytery)

Church space dedicated to the clergy and liturgical priesthood. It is usually separated from the rest of the temple by an elevation, balustrade or arch, and visually evocative of the church. The earliest christian temples were orientated towards the west, even in the Middle Ages the churches were orientated, so the chancel was located in the east-facing part of the temple. Chancel layout could be enriched with ambulatory, apses and a crown of chapels. Central place in the chancel occupies the altar, the tabernacle, the stools or benches for the clergy and the liturgical service.

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