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Seats originally on the south side of a sanctuary for the officiating clergy during the Eucharistic liturgy. Already found in the catacombs where one stone seat was placed at the side of the altar. THe new Order of the Mass prescribes: "The celebrant's chair should draw attention to his presiding over the community and leading its prayer. Hence the place for it is in the apex of the sanctuary, facing the people . . . Seats for others with special duties in the sanctuary should be in places convenient for their functions" (Ordo Missae, IV, 271). (Etym. Latin sedilia, seat, from sedere, to sit.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.