Illustrated Architecture Dictionary

Sanctuary
SANK chew air ee

1. A sacred place (such as a church, temple, synagogue or mosque).

2. A consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.

3. In some Protestant churches, the term sanctuary denotes the entire worship area while the term chancel is used to refer to the area around the altar-table.

The words chancel and sanctuary are often synonyms. Protestant churches tend to use "chancel," whereas Catholic churches tend to use "sanctuary."

4. In a cruciform church, the immediate area around the principal altar, which is enclosed by a communion rail, setting it off from the nave


Examples from Buffalo architecture:

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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