The History of Lecterns and Pulpits

When you think of the church, one of the first things that comes to mind is the lectern and pulpit. These pieces of furniture have been used in churches for centuries, serving as a platform for preaching and teaching.

The lectern and pulpit have their roots in ancient Greece and Rome. In these cultures, lecterns were called ambo and were used to read sacred texts in the synagogue. The ambo was often a large, carved stone platform with a railing around it, much like the pulpit of today. The pulpit has evolved over the centuries and is now used to deliver sermons or messages in churches of all denominations.

They are typically located at the front of the church near the altar. The lectern is typically a small, angled table at which a preacher stands to read from the Bible and speak to the congregation. The pulpit is usually a tall, freestanding platform with a railing around it, where the preacher stands to deliver a sermon or message. While they are essential pieces of church furniture — providing a place for the preacher to stand and deliver the Word of God, how did these pieces come to be?

At St. Jude Shop, we are dedicated to providing churches with the highest quality pulpits and lecterns to support their worship and teaching ministries. Let's take a look at the history of these high-quality church furniture pieces and how they've evolved throughout the years. 

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The Lectern

The lectern is an instrument used to support and display documents, such as books, papers, and speeches. It is believed that the lectern originated in the Middle Ages when it was used to hold Bibles and other religious texts during religious services. Since then, the lectern has evolved to become an important tool in classrooms, lecture halls, and other public speaking venues. The earliest lecterns were simple in design and made of wood or metal. However, they were often very bulky and heavy, making them difficult to transport.

During the Renaissance, lecterns became more decorative and ornate, with some featuring intricate carvings and designs. In the 19th century, the lectern became a tool for the public speaker, as the invention of the microphone made it easier for the speaker to be heard. During this time, the lectern was often made of metal and had a shelf for books or documents.

In the 20th century, lecterns began to be made out of lighter materials, such as plastic and aluminum and were designed to be more portable. By the 21st century, lecterns had become much more versatile, with adjustable stands and adjustable heights. Today, lecterns are used in a variety of settings, from classrooms to boardrooms, and come in a range of sizes and styles.

The Pulpit

The pulpit is a fixture of religious and spiritual gatherings around the world, but its origins stretch back centuries. The pulpit is believed to have originated in the early Christian churches of the 9th century when it was used as a platform for speakers to address the congregation. The design of the pulpit changed over the years, evolving from a simple raised platform to a more ornate structure with intricate carvings and decorations. 

During the Middle Ages, the pulpit was one of the main features of a church and often served as the focal point of the entire building. In this period, the pulpit was often a large, elaborate structure made of wood and decorated with carvings and statues. By the 17th century, the design of the pulpit began to take on a more formalized shape, with a raised platform, a canopy, and a desk for the preacher. This design was popularized by the Puritans in England and soon spread to other parts of Europe.

The pulpit has also been an important tool in the spread of religious knowledge. Many preachers have used the pulpit to educate their congregation on important religious and spiritual topics. The pulpit was also used to present the Bible in a way that could be easily understood by the average person. The pulpit is still a popular feature in churches today, and its design and symbolism vary depending on the denomination and the location. The pulpit is often seen as a symbol of authority and a place of spiritual guidance and inspiration.

Modern Day Lecterns & Pulpits

Today, pulpits and lecterns remain a staple of church furniture, providing an essential platform for preaching and teaching. At St. Jude Shop, we offer a wide range of pulpits and lecterns that are designed to meet the needs of any church. Whether you are looking for a more traditional look or a modern design, we have the perfect pulpit or lectern for you. Browse our collection today!

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