An oratory is a Christian
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...
A room is any distinguishable space within a structure.Room may also refer to:* Room , by Emma Donoghue* Room, Nepal* Room for PlayStation Portable, a social networking service* Thomas Gerald Room , Australian mathematician...
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...
, from the Latin orare, to pray.
Catholic churchIn the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...
, an oratory is a structure other than a parish church, set aside by ecclesiastical authority for prayer and the celebration of Mass. It is for all intents and purposes another word for what is commonly called a chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...
Previously, canon law distinguished several types of oratories: private (with use restricted to an individual, such as a bishop, or group, such as a family, and their invited guests), semi-public (open under certain circumstances to the public), or public (built for the benefit of any of the faithful who wish to use it). (Code of Canon Law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...
, canon 1223). The term is used for instance in the Rule of St Benedict
Rule of St Benedict
The Rule of Saint Benedict is a book of precepts written by St. Benedict of Nursia for monks living communally under the authority of an abbot. Since about the 7th century it has also been adopted by communities of women...
(chapter 52) for the private communal chapel inside monasteries
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...
The distinctions between public, semi-public, and private have been eliminated in the 1983 Code in favor of new terminology. Oratory now means a private place of worship for a group or community which could be opened to the public at the discretion of the group's superior. This definition corresponds with the semi-public oratory of the 1917 Code. The private oratory of the 1917 Code corresponds very closely with the 1983 Code's chapel, as they are both places of worship for specific individuals.
Oratories seem to have found their origin in chapels built at the shrines of martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...
s, for the faithful to assemble and pray on the spot. The oldest extant oratory is the Archiepiscopal Chapel
The Archbishop's Chapel is a chapel on the first floor of the bishops' palace in Ravenna, Italy, the smallest of the famous mosaic sites of the city. It is a private oratory of Trinitarian bishops dating from the turn of the 6th century. Although commonly attributed to St...
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...
Saint Joseph's Oratory
Saint Joseph's Oratory
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, , is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and national shrine on the west slope of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.-History:...
is the name of a Roman Catholic basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...
The term can also refer to the local house of the "Oratorians", the congregation of priests founded by St Philip Neri in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
- Oratory of the Holy FaceOratory of the Holy FaceThe Oratory of the Holy Face is a Roman Catholic prayer oratory in Tours France. It is the site where devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus started in Tours by Venerable Leo Dupont based on messages reported by Sister Marie of St. Peter...
in ToursToursTours is a city in central France, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department.It is located on the lower reaches of the river Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast. Touraine, the region around Tours, is known for its wines, the alleged perfection of its local spoken French, and for the...
- Gallarus OratoryGallarus OratoryThe Gallarus Oratory is believed to be an early Christian church located on the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland...
- The Oratory of Our Lady & St. Francis of Assisi in Warndon Villages, Worcester, England.