from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The rail which separates the chancel or sanctuary of a church from the choir, or, where there is no choir, from the nave.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
As we stood at the chancel-rail I am afraid that the congregation, largely augmented, by this time, by late-comers -- for the doctor had spread the news through the village far and wide -- thought me but a very pale and quiet bridegroom.
But you are not, after all, married to the girl you met at the chancel-rail, so long and long ago, with unforgotten tremblings of the knees.
About the twelfth century when the custom arose of receiving under one kind only, the priests placed the small Hosts on the tongues of the communicants at the chancel-rail.
Colonel Ferrari rose from his place and moved up to the chancel-rail, beckoning to the other officers to accompany him.
The altar, without chancel-rail, stood on a crimson-covered platform.
Profound obeisances were made towards the altar; the hymn was ended; the choristers took their places; and one of the priests, on arriving in front of the chancel-rail, began the intoning of the Litany.
-- she was sitting at the foot of the chancel-rail, with her stocking as usual.