Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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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.)