(2) Mihrab. Adjacent to the pulpit is a device which has the
function of indicating the geographical direction of Mecca (qiblah) toward
which worshipers face. No rigid rule establishes the form of this device; it
may be as simple as a banner. But tradition features a mihrab. The mihrab is
an arched niche. It need not be permanently anent, but can be carried into a
room and set at the appropriate place at the perimeter. The face of the mibrab
is perpendicular to the qiblah direction. It may be an ogee arch decorated
with geometric designs and devotional inscriptions in arabic. Its size is
related to the scale of the space and to the fact of portability. Its surface
may be faced with enamel, gold leaf, tiles. or other durable material.
(3) Garments and Fabrics. The custom of removing shoes for worship
requires that portable racks for oboes be supplied at the entrance of the
room. A supply of skull caps should be available in a portable bin. If the
worship is conducted in a room with a hard floor, individual rugs about 30
inches (750 mm) by 6 feet (1800 mm) should be available from a portable
storage rack. An alternative is larger rugs or rolls of carpet.
(4) Ablutions. A part of Islamic worship is the ritual washing of
mouth, hands and feet which precedes entry into the place of prayer. Where
water or ablutionary facilities are not available, ritual gestures replace
actual washing. In military chapels it is appropriate to increase beyond
normal requirements the number of basins and taps in men's and women's rooms
if the program statements include provision for Islamic groups.
SECONDARY WORSHIP SPACES.
Multi-Purpose Chapel. A secondary place of worship is recommended in
chapels where the principal place of worship itself has more than 250 seats.
(1) Size. Its capacity should be 15 to 18 percent of the normal
capacity of the major assembly, with a maximum size of 75 seats.
(2) Purposes. Its purpose is to accommodate all faiths in various
ways. For Roman Catholics it may be the place of daily mass and possibly of
the rite of Penance (but not the place of Reservation). It may be the place of
Jewish Sabbath services or Islamic worship. It may be the place of small
weddings, funerals or other rituals. It will also serve as the place of
private prayer and meditation and possibly as a room for some element of the
religious education program.
(3) Location. This chapel should be so located as to be conveniently
accessible whenever the facility is open. It should also be convenient to the
sacristy and vestry which are ancillary to the major assembly space.