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CHAPEL OF EASE
A supplementary chapel built to accommodate people living at a distance from their parish church, usually in an outlying district or suburb. The clergy in charge may be vicars of the main parish. At first baptismal fonts were not found in such chapels, as certain parochial functions were reserved for the parish church, but later many chapels of ease had their own fonts. Marriages and burials were usually performed in the main church, with which the cemetery, if any, was always connected. Chapels of ease would often become independent parishes when the number of parishioners warranted the change.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.