LATER MEDIEVAL ART, Art 264

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Parts of a church, working East to West

Apse
Semi-circular recess, usually found at East end of nave, can also be found at East end of aisles and in chapels.

Conch
Vault of an apse. Semi-dome.

Ambulatory,
Walkway, usually taken to be the walkway around the East end of the church.

Sanctuary
Presbytery
Both mean the area immediately surrounding the main altar.

Choir
Chancel
Both mean the area between the apse or sanctuary and the crossing

Chevet
Choir with ambulatory and radiating chapels

Crossing
Open area where the nave and transepts meet.

Transept
Passage running north-south of the nave and aisles. Some churches have several transepts.

Nave
Main passage running west-east, leading to crossing.

Aisle
Minor passage flanking the nave. Some churches have multiple aisles.

Nave arcade
Row of arches on piers on each side of the nave.

Narthex
Hall-like area behind the fašade, screened from the nave.

Porch
Hall-like area set in front of the fašade.

Structural parts of a church, working from the ground upwards

Nave arcade
Row of arches on piers on each side of the nave.

Pier
Vertical support of any shape.

Compound pier
Pier with applied columns or shafts.

Drum pier
Cylindrical pier

Column
Very specific kind of pier: cigar shaped, with capital and base.

Engaged column
Half-column attached to a wall or pier.

Soffit
The underside of an arch, plain or with moldings.

String course
Continuous horizontal molding. There is often one immediately above the nave arcade.

Gallery
Passage above the side aisles, the same width as the side aisles.

Triforium
Wall passage above the nave arcade or above the gallery.

Barrel vault
Continuous vault, semi-circular in section.

Pointed barrel
Continuous vault, pointed in section

Groin vault
The intersection of two barrel vaults. Arrises irregular in shape.

Arris
Projecting edge running connecting diagonally opposite piers that marks where two barrel vaults intersect.

Domed-up groin vault
Intersecting vault whose arrises are semi-circular.

Pointed-up groin vault
Intersecting vault whose arrises meet at the top in a point.

Rib vault
Domed-up groin vault whose structure is emphasized with decorative ribs and bosses.

Front of a church

Fašade
The entire outside elevation, usually taken to mean the one at the West end.

Portal
Decorated doorway(s).

Jambs
Vertical moldings flanking the doorway, often column shaped.

Tympanum
D-shaped or pointed panel above the doorway, often sculpted in relief.

Windows

Stained glass
(note the "ed")

Silver stain
Silver oxide fused onto clear glass to produce translucent yellow.

Mullions
Vertical moldings in a window

Transoms
Horizontal moldings in a window

Types of Church

Church
The general term. When in doubt, use this term.

Cathedral
Bishop's church. Named after the bishop's throne (the cathedra). More accurately, a "cathedral church".

Church Furnishings

Altar
(Note the spelling).

Antependium,
Frontal
Both mean the decorative screen in front of the altar table. Can be of cloth, metal, wood, or stone

Altarpiece
Relief or painted panel rising from the back of the altar.

Monstrance
Display case for the Host. Can be quite elaborate.

Host
Communion wafer, Eucharistic bread (always spelled with capital H).

Reliquary,
Shrine
Both mean the precious container for a relic.

Andachtsbilder
Contemplation pieces, sculptures typically showing Crucifixion or PietÓ.

Books

Codex
Latin word for "book".

Pericopes,
Book of Pericopes, Evangelistary (note spelling!)
Collected Gospel readings in the order needed for the liturgical year.

Gospel Book,
Gospels, Evangelary (note spelling!)
Book containing the four Gospels only, in their narrative order.

Psalter
Book of Psalms.

Book of Hours,
Hours
Prayer book for use at seven appointed hours each day.

Breviary
Book containing the Divine Office for the day, for the use of ordained priests.

Missal
Service book for the Mass

Sacramentary
Service book for all the Sacraments.

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