An oratory is a place set aside for divine worship, but not primarily for the public, and, therefore, differs from a church.

There are three types of oratories; public, that is, one erected for the use of a community, such as religious, but to which the public has access for divine services; semipublic, which is one that is intended for the use of some particular group, for example, a chapel in a seminary, to which the public does not have access; and private, that is, an oratory for the particular use of a family or person within the house or manor.

The establishment of such an oratory requires an apostolic indult. (7:49)