Meaning of Chapel

Meaning of Chapel

The term chapel finds its etymological root in the Latin language. A chapel is a construction that is part of a church or that is located next to it, having an altar and being consecrated to a certain dedication.

The concept is also used to name a portable or private oratory. For example: “Father Martín is praying in the chapel”, “Tomorrow at 9 am there will be a mass in the school chapel to remember the deceased student”, “The ceremony will take place in the Guadalupe Chapel”.

You can distinguish between multiple types of chapels. If the chapel is inside a church, it can be called a main chapel (when it is located in the main sector) or a side chapel (located in a nave on one side of the main building). A royal chapel, on the other hand, is inside a palace, while a private chapel is part of a private home.

The Sistine Chapel, which is part of St. Peter’s Basilica (located in Vatican City), is one of the most famous chapels in the world. The popularity of the temple is linked to the presence of great works of art, such as the mural known as “The Last Judgment” made by Michelangelo in the 16th century.

The idea of a chapel is also used for the construction of various expressions. One of them is “being in the chapel”, which refers to being awaiting a decision that may lead to a sanction or being on the verge of a punishment: “I am in the chapel: the rector who told me that if a teacher returns to complain about my behavior, he will expel me.

On the other hand, in some Spanish-speaking regions it is said that someone “is a chapel” or “little chapel” to refer to their great devotion to the Christian religion. This usually has negative connotations, although it is not an insult but rather a criticism in a friendly tone, or an opinion about someone with whom we do not agree on everything but do not feel anything against him.

As a proper name, Capilla is a municipality in Spain that is located in the province of Badajoz, which in turn belongs to the autonomous community of Extremadura. It borders Córdoba and Ciudad Real, and numerous accidents can be seen on its land. This municipality has been populated since the most remote times, something that the many cave paintings prove among other evidences.

During the time that the Romans dominated certain territories of the Iberian Peninsula (which are jointly called Hispania Romana), Capilla did not stop having a large and important population: Pliny the Younger himself, a prominent scientist, writer and lawyer of the old Empire, he referred to it as a “distinguished municipality” and considered it a fundamental strategy point to maintain communications between Córdoba, Seville, Toledo, Mérida and Almadén.

With regard to its etymology, we can say that it simply takes us to the diminutive of the term layer, and it is probable that its use comes from one of the customs of the kings of France, which consisted of asking that the cloak be placed in their tent of San Martín de Tours, a patron Catholic bishop of many places. In this way, they began to refer to the store by the name of the chapel, and to the clergy who served in it, chaplains.

If we refer to the dictionary of the DigoPaul, we will find a meaning of the word chapel that defines it as “a hood that is attached to the neck of habits, overcoats or capes.”