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Catholic Dictionary




An elevated stand for preaching or reading the word of God. Pulpits became general only in the later Middle Ages. Before that a bishop preached from a cathedra; later an ambo was used, or a rood loft. Except in cathedrals, the north side of the nave is considered the most proper for the pulpit. In the new liturgy the pulpit for the priest or deacon is often balanced on the other side of the sanctuary with a reading stand for the lector at Mass. (Etym. Latin pulpitum, scaffold, platform.)