The east end is where the altar is placed, often within an apse. The façade and main entrance are accordingly at the west end. The opposite arrangement, in which the church is entered from the east and the sanctuary is at the other end, is called occidentation.
Are churches built east to west?
For those who do not have the time to immerse themselves… the answer is yes, churches do face east , but not perfectly and the discrepancy varies with location. … It is quite possible that all but the earliest extant churches were aligned and built with the help of a compass.
What is the stage area of a church called?
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.
Why do cathedrals face east?
In the catholic liturgy, it describes an eastward orientation of celebrating Mass, according to the “cosmic sign of the rising sun which symbolizes the universality of God.” [1,2] It is interesting to note that the earliest churches in Rome had the main entrance facing east and an apse with the altar to the west; the …
What are parts of a church called?
Nave, central and principal part of a Christian church, extending from the entrance (the narthex) to the transepts (transverse aisle crossing the nave in front of the sanctuary in a cruciform church) or, in the absence of transepts, to the chancel (area around the altar).
Why is a church shaped like a cross?
Shape: they are most often built in a cruciform shape (cross shaped) Probably a fairly obvious reasoning behind this feature – the cross of course represents the cross in Christian teachings on which Jesus died for our sins.
Why are some churches cruciform shape?
Traditionally, Roman Catholic churches were built in the shape of a cross – cruciform – or a rectangle. However, many of the newer ones are circular. This is to stress the equality of all people as they worship in God’s house.
What’s the main area of a church called?
The nave is the main part of the church where the congregation (the people who come to worship) sit. The aisles are the sides of the church which may run along the side of the nave. The transept, if there is one, is an area which crosses the nave near the top of the church.
What is the room behind the altar called?
A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments (such as the alb and chasuble) and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, and parish records. … In most older churches, a sacristy is near a side altar, or more usually behind or on a side of the main altar.
What is the wall behind the altar called?
A reredos (/ˈrɪərˌdɒs, ˈrɪərɪ-, ˈrɛrɪ-/ REER-dos, REER-ih-, RERR-ih-) is a large altarpiece, a screen, or decoration placed behind the altar in a church.
Why are you buried facing east?
Some of the ancient religions (based on the sun) would bury the dead facing east so that they could face the “new day” and the “rising sun.” Once again, Christ is considered to be the “Light of the World,” which explains the eastward facing burials. … It makes perfect sense that the Son of Man would arrive from the east.
Why do we pray facing East?
Syriac and Arabic Christian apologetics of the 7th century explained that Christians prayed facing east because “the Garden of Eden was planted in the east (Genesis 2:8) and that at the end of time, at the second coming, the Messiah would approach Jerusalem from the east.” Saint John of Damascus taught that believers …
Do Graves always face east?
Most cemeteries bury husbands on the south side of a burial plot, with their wives on the north. The other key factor, Delp notes, is that headstones can face east or west. The direction they face makes a big difference. … But in most cemeteries, headstones face east, which puts husbands to the left of their wives.
What are the four main parts of the church?
The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, is a term describing four distinctive adjectives—”One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic”—of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: “[We …
What are the main parts of a church plan?
The plan generally included a nave (q.v.), or hall, with a flat timber roof, in which the crowd gathered; one or two side aisles flanking the nave and separated from it by a row of regularly spaced columns; a narthex (q.v.), or entrance vestibule at the west end, which was reserved for penitents and unbaptized …
What are the benches in a church called?
A pew (/ˈpjuː/) is a long bench seat or enclosed box, used for seating members of a congregation or choir in a church, synagogue or sometimes a courtroom.