Decor in the Catholic Church varies from church to church, but will all churches have the following areas that are needed to celebrate Mass. 

sanctuaryThe Sanctuary: The elevated portion of the church where the clergy and other ministers perform their proper functions in the worship of God. The sanctuary symbolizes heaven.

The Nave: The main body of the church where the congregation gathers.

The Narthex: The lobby or “gathering space” outside of the church proper.

Blessed chapel
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel: The chapel where the tabernacle is located for the faithful to come and pray.

The Sacristy: The room where the sacred vestments, vessels, and other items used in the celebration of the liturgy are stored and prepared.

The Apse: The curved area behind the altar where the tabernacle is located in many churches.

The Altar: The sacred table on which the sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God; the table from which the faithful receive the Blessed Sacrament.

The Ambo: The lectern from which the readings are proclaimed.

presiders chair
The Presider’s Chair: The chair on which the priest sits during Mass.

credence table
The Credence Table: The table on which objects are kept during the celebration of Mass.

The Tabernacle: (Latin: tabernaculum, “tent”) The golden container in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The name derives from the Old Testament tent in which God dwelt among his people.

The Pews: The benches on which the congregation sits.

ambryThe Ambry: The cabinet in which the three holy oils are kept.

There are many more important areas of the church needed to celebrate Mass, but these are the highlights. Have more questions? Call Father Thuy.