Our Cathedral has a Chapter Room to the east of its sanctuary. It was added during the Cathedral’s reconstruction after the Murrah bombing. A chapter room is a part of a cathedral, monastery, or collegiate chapel in which meetings are held. When such a room is attached to a cathedral, a “chapter” of clerics (the cathedral’s dean and its canons) may meet there for administrative functions. A monastic community would meet daily in this room to hold “chapter” for readings or to hear the exhortations of the abbot. Since many cathedrals were originally monasteries, it is common for a chapter room or chapter house to be located nearby. Academic deans and canons of a college also met in chapter rooms. In medieval times, monarchs on tour of their territory would often take over the chapter room for audiences. As occurs in our Cathedral’s chapter room, seating was built into the walls of the room with the central space left open. It was often the practice to build the windows too high to prevent a view in from the outside to avoid eavesdroppers. Altars, thrones, and fireplaces are often found in older chapter rooms.
~Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
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