National Geographic : 1927 Dec
726 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE AT THE HOLY DOOR IN THE ALTAR SCREEN OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: SINAI In Greek churches the main audience chamber, or nave, terminates at the altar screen (iconostasis). Behind it is the bema, or sanctuary, with the holy table, or altar, in its center, in front of the apse. The bema is often divided into three chapels, the sanctuary proper being flanked by the table of prothesis, or credence table, and the diaconicon, which corresponds to the sacristy of a Western church. Of the three doors which often pierce the architectural screen, the center one, provided with a curtain, is the holy door. Old sacred paintings, ornately deco rated and with parts covered by gold or silver plates, form a part of the iconostasis or are hung from it.