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Author Topic: Church Glossary  (Read 8113 times)

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Offline ChrisExiledFromStrood

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 21:32:53 »
Bit of clarification on Ambo:
Ambo/Ambon in Greek means a step, or something raised up, and came into mediaeval Latin to mean pulpit or lectern. It's still the term for a raised platform area of the altar in the Orthodox church.
Ambo is Latin for both (as in ambidextrous), and is a bit of a red herring here.

merc

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 12:14:38 »
Clerestory - Upper row of windows in a large church.

compass

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2012, 20:34:46 »
Rood stairs are an interesting thing to be able to identify.  And I've always wanted (with no luck) to find a Mass Dial.    Could they be included, do you think?
I was a lay minister (Reader) at St Peter's Swingfield at the time it closed and I'm sure it has a Mass dial scratched into the stone work to the left of the main door inside the porch. Good hunting!

merc

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2011, 21:27:24 »
Thanks for the new words :)

Sheppey bottles, sorry, i've decided not to include putlocks in this glossary, but i have included bier.

Offline Riding With The Angels

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2011, 20:57:04 »
Parclose Screen - as Rood Screen but seperating the chancel from side chapels. A particularly rare and old example at Rodmersham.

Gallery - originally used to house musicians prior to the advent of organs and then introduced to increase the seating capacity within the nave in the 18th Century and, in most cases, now removed again. Some west galleries have been utilised to house the organ.


Offline sheppey_bottles

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2011, 22:44:33 »
Both of these apply to the church and to the graveyard not sure if you should include them..

Putlocks....Wooden putlocks are placed on the grave to support the coffin before it is
lowered into the grave.

Bier....A bier is a stand, also with wheels on which a corpse, coffin or casket containing a corpse, is
placed to lie in state or to be carried to the grave.

merc

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2011, 22:15:14 »
Thanks Merry :)

Glossary updated.

Merry

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Re: Church Glossary
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 21:34:04 »
Rood stairs are an interesting thing to be able to identify.  And I've always wanted (with no luck) to find a Mass Dial.    Could they be included, do you think?

merc

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Church Glossary
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 12:37:18 »
Altar - The altar is the table in the chancel that the clergy use for Communion. During the Protestant Reformation, some people felt that the traditional term was theologically misleading. As a result, many people preferred to call it a Communion Table. Anglicans decided that both terms were correct, because it is the altar from which we receive the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and because it is the table on which we celebrate Communion. Today, Anglicans and Lutherans generally call it the altar, while churches in the Reform tradition tend to call it a Communion table.

Apse - If the wall behind the altar (the east wall) is curved, it forms a semicircular area that is called an apse. In ancient times, large church buildings were modeled after a type of Roman public building that had such a wall.

Ambo - If there is one speaker’s stand in the center of the front of the church, as is typical in churches with a lecture-hall floor plan, it serves the functions of both lectern and pulpit. The word ambo comes from a Greek word meaning ‘both.’ In common usage, however, ambos are incorrectly called pulpits.

Aumbry - An aumbry is a niche in the wall in a large church. It is generally used for storing various articles that are used in worship.

Bier -A stand, also with wheels on, which a coffin or casket containing a body is placed before burial.

Chancel - In churches with a historic floor plan, the chancel is the front part of the church from which the service is conducted.

Font - An article of church furniture or a fixture used for the baptism of children and adults.

Gallery - originally used to house musicians prior to the advent of organs and then introduced to increase the seating capacity within the nave in the 18th Century and, in most cases, now removed again. Some west galleries have been utilised to house the organ.

High Altar - A large church may have several altars. The term high altar refers to the main altar in the chancel. Other altars may be located on the sides of the nave or in separate chapels in the same building.

Lectern -In churches with a historic floor plan, there are two speaker’s stands in the front of the church. The one on the right (as viewed by the congregation) is called the lectern. The word lectern comes from the Latin word meaning ‘to read,’ because the lectern primarily functions as a reading stand.

Mass Dial (scratch dial) - Medieval dials found on the outside walls of churches. The gnomon, invariably missing, pointed straight out horizontally and so the dial would not record the same hours at all times of the year. The mass dial is in any case usually regarded as an event marker for the church services rather than a time piece. They were originally found on the South side of the church, but due to rebuilding they can end up almost anywhere on a church. They are frequently found inside a later added porch over the South door.

Nave -The architectural term for the place where the congregation gathers for worship.

Parclose Screen - as Rood Screen but seperating the chancel from side chapels. A particularly rare and old example at Rodmersham.

Pew -Originally, Christians stood for worship, and that is still the case in many eastern churches. The pew, a long, backed bench upon which congregants sit, was an innovation of western medieval Christianity. properly speaking what most people call pews are benches (think of the 15thc seating in many Norfolk churches). Pews really need a door to be so-called. There are fine medieval benches at the back of Cooling church

Piscina -  is a shallow basin used by the priest to wash his fingers. Only for a short period at the end of the 13c was the chalice washed and this is when we get a `double` piscina - one drain for the fingers as usual plus one for the chalice. Cooling church has a good example.

Pulpit - is a raised platform used by clergy to read the gospel and preach the sermon. It can be on the right of the church just as much as on the left. In fact there is no `correct` position for it as the way we see church interiors now is a Victorian creation. 200 years ago most pulpits were halfway down the nave rather than at the east end of it.
 
Reredos - An altarpiece, or a screen or decoration behind the altar in a church, usually depicting religious iconography or images. In French and sometimes in English, this is called a retable.

Rood loft - A gallery, within which a choir might sing, the Gospel might be read, and candles lit along the rood beam. In Britain many Rood Lofts have been destroyed, but often the Rood Stairs remain.

Rood Stairs - A stairway leading to the Rood Loft.

Rood Screen - A rood screen (also known as a chancel screen) is a partition that separates the nave of a church from the chancel. It is similar to an iconostasis in an Eastern Orthodox church, except that its origin is more recent. Its construction is different, because it is not a complete visual barrier. Rood screens are much less common in western churches today than in medieval times, when they originated.

Sacristy - In historic church architecture, the sacristy is the room or closet in which communion equipment, linen, and supplies are kept. It is usually equipped with a sink.

Sanctuary - In historic church architecture, the front part of the church from which the service is conducted, as distinct from the nave, where the congregation sits. The sanctuary is usually an elevated platform, usually three steps up from the nave. In churches with a lecture-hall floor plan, the term ‘sanctuary’ is often used to mean both chancel and nave because the two are not architecturally distinct. In historic usage, chancel; and sanctuary are synonyms.

Sedilia - Stone seats, usually to be found on the south side of an altar, often in the chancel, for the use of the officiating priests. The seat is often set back into the main wall of the church itself.

Stoup - A basin for holy water at the entrance of a church.

Transept -In medieval times, it became necessary to increase space near the chancel to accommodate large numbers of clergy, the choirs, or members of religious orders. The result was a space between the chancel and the nave that extends beyond the side walls, giving the church a cruciform floor plan—meaning that it is cross-shaped when viewed from above.

Undercroft -The undercroft is essentially a fancy word for the church basement under the chancel and nave.

Vestry - A room in or attached to a church or synagogue in which the vestments, vessels, records, etc., are kept, and in which the clergy and choir robe or don their vestments for divine service.

 

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