Catholic Dictionary




A relatively small place for liturgical worship by the members of a private or religious family. Sometimes it is an oratory in another, larger building or a small, consecrated detached room or building having an altar. Side chapels in churches often have a special purpose as for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament or as a shrine. (Etym. Latin capella, originally a shrine in which was preserved the capa or cloak of St. Martin of Tours.)