Prayer room

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Newly arranged prayer room. Frienisberg Abbey , Canton of Bern.

A prayer room is a sacred space set up for the purpose of prayer , a space that is mostly dedicated to communal religious acts. Mostly it is characterized by the fact that basic religious and liturgical regulations must be observed, such as taboos , jewelry or cleanliness and quiet.


Prayer rooms are originally located within an otherwise profane building, and can also be only temporarily dedicated, depending on the conception, also simultaneously for different denominations or religions (see Simultankirche ), or separately for certain groups (nobles / lower classes, women / men, Church members / lay people). There are also separate rooms of a purely private nature, such as the typical castle chapel .

The sacred building in its own sense is created through separately erected ancillary buildings, temporary arrangements or structural edging of cult places , which is why simple sacred buildings are still called “prayer rooms” (e.g. the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses). In a further development, the prayer hall is the central room of every sacred building that serves as a meeting and event building, such as the nave of the church and mosques ( Arabic اِيوَانor حرم' Prayer room'), or the oratory ( Latin orare 'pray') of the monastery complex: around these central rooms are all the ancillary rooms for the liturgy, religious education, social and sacred life, and thus result in the entirety of a sacred building or complex .

Under certain circumstances, prayer rooms were built as a temporary measure: emergency churches for church and backyard mosques for mosque buildings. The secret sorrow of suppressed and not publicly permitted religions and denominations, for example at the time of secret Protestantism, are also significant in terms of contemporary history .

Conversely, the chapel is a typical prayer room in the true sense of the word (from the aspect of the subordinate comes the ambiguity of the expression “chapel”, Latin capella , “partitioned”), starting with the castle chapel integrated into the fortress structure , via the side chapel of the church as an adjoining room special dedication, right up to the sacred spaces of public buildings ( station churches , hospital chapels , etc.).

See also


  • Karl-Josef Kuschel : Multi-religious prayer rooms - a problem report. Theological and interreligious perspectives. In: Art and Church. Vol. 73, No. 2, 2010, ISSN  0023-5431 , pp. 5-11.