Lecterns in church

The shelves are items of furniture religious that we use daily in our churches. The lecterns have been important elements during many centuries. There is evidence of the presence of music stands in the altars of the parishes from the FIFTEENTH century.

In today's entry we will try to deepen in its origin and functionality of the stands. The aim sought is to analyze the historical evolution of the term “Lectern” in comparison with the word ambo and pulpit.

Three terms, lectern, ambo and pulpit, which, with the passage of the centuries have been converging. To this day, popularly, are often used almost interchangeably. Especially the concepts of ambo and pulpit.

Lecterns in church

The shelves are items of furniture religious that we use daily in our churches. The lecterns have been important elements during many centuries. There is evidence of the presence of music stands in the altars of the parishes from the FIFTEENTH century.

In today's entry we will try to deepen in its origin and functionality of the stands. The aim sought is to analyze the historical evolution of the term “Lectern” in comparison with the word ambo and pulpit.

Three terms, lectern, ambo and pulpit, which, with the passage of the centuries have been converging. To this day, popularly, are often used almost interchangeably. Especially the concepts of ambo and pulpit.

The lectern in the Church, definition

The concept of a lectern is very broad. As we can read in the Dictionary of the Real Academy of Spain, is considered lectern:

“Piece of furniture in the form of an inclined plane, with distance or without it, which serves to hold books, sheet music, etc, and read with more comfort.”

That is to say, that will be a lectern of a church, any element of the liturgical furnishings that on which are deposited the Missal. Taking as a starting point this definition is best understood evolution and fusion popular of the words lectern, pulpit and ambo.

The main difference between the lectern and ambo or pulpit is the lectern is a mobile element. It can be placed in different positions in function of the needs of the celebration, the number of priests, etc... In many churches and parishes, due to lack of space, the lectern serves the functions pulpit or ambo.

Stands on the altars of the churches, history

According to the majority of studies it is possible to situate the first stands within the churches around the FIFTEENTH century. It is known that in earlier times Missal was placed on a cushion or maintained by the assistants of the priest.

Atril para Iglesia fabricado en bronce - Atril de mesaAt the end of the Middle Ages begins to generalize the use of the lecterns in the churches. The majority of the stands used were music stands from the table. They used to be placed in on the table of the altar. The stands were made of wood of walnut. Tree widely used by the nobles and the clergy throughout the Middle Ages.

The shelves of wooden of walnut were highly appreciated for their high durability, attractive color and easy to be carved. These attributes allowed artesanados develop their art without limitations, creating stands with impressive reliefs and liturgical.

In some churches you could find two lecterns, even two both, placed one on each side of the altar (even today you can see this distribution). The first lectern, located on the left hand side, facing the altar from the front, was used to read parts of the Gospels. Read about the life and work of Our Lord jesus Christ contained in the four Gospels written by St. Mark, St. John the Evangelist, San Jucas and San Mateo. The lecterns employees to read the Gospels on numerous occasions they were decorated with one of the symbols of the evangelists: The angel (symbol of St. Matthew), the lion (symbol of Saint Mark), the ox (symbol of Luke) or/and the Eagle (symbol of St. John the Evangelist). The symbol of the eagle was the most popular. Could be seen frequently lecterns of the churches decorated with eagles. The most common were stands of bronze with the eagle with the open wings. The Gospels resting on the back of the eagle.

The second stand was located in the right side of the altar (facing the altar from the front). The right side is known as the epistle side. It receives this name because the lectern there located used to be used to read the epistle during the Holy Mass.

The stands are still commonly used in our churches. These are elements that facilitate the reading to the priests during the Holy Mass. Sometimes we can find the lecterns, especially the stands of foot, decorated with panels of color of the liturgical season that corresponds to the celebration.

Types of lecterns in the Church

the lectern in liturgical can be classified in three types: music stands, table, lectern stand, lecterns facistoles.

Lecterns table for Church

Atriles y púlpitos acrílicos - Atriles de metacrilatoModel stand designed to be used on a table. In the majority of cases, this type of music stands, the religious are placed on the altar table. In this way they are next to the priest during the celebration of the Mass.

Within the wide variety of styles and materials that exist in the shelves of the table, we find two parties that are common to all of the music stands and liturgical table: The base and the support for the texts.

The base of the lecterns of the church may include small legs, wheels, or some type of protection to prevent damage to the altar table. Can be manufactured in all kinds of materials and normally go to game with the part where you placed the text.

The support for the texts is usually a inclined surface with a stop at the bottom that prevents the books from falling out. It is common to have different degrees of inclination. Some music stands, the area of the stand rotates at 360 degrees.

The shelves of the table can be decorated with all sorts of religious elements: JHS, symbols of the evangelists, etc...

Shelves of walk to Church

Atriles de pie para Iglesia - Atriles religiososThe shelves of foot tend to fulfill the same functions as the shelves of table, but do not require any other piece of furniture to be used. The lecterns religious standing are those that have been historically used in place of the pulpits and the both.

This type of music stands and liturgical are often decorated with panels of easel. The cloths stand can be embroidered with liturgical elements and tend to vary in color, depending on the time of the liturgical year in which we find ourselves. The panels of the lectern are fulfilling an aesthetic function and symbolic.

The music stands for church of foot they have a part of which the lecterns table lack. In addition to the base and the support for the texts, music stands, foot have a central body that unites the base with the bracket. This central part, usually a tube, is usually made of the same materials as the base and the support. The central body of the stands of foot, in addition to an aesthetic component (usually decorated), has a function that is very relevant, grade the height of the lectern. It is very important that the music stands of the foot can move up or down to suit the height of the priest or person who is going to use.

Lectern facistol

Lectern large that it reached a great diffusion during the Middle and Modern Ages. It is a kind of lectern that is usually formed by four sides and that used to be used by the choirs during Church.
Currently it is barely used.

Lecterns for churches, materials

The lecterns employees to work on religious are manufactured in all kinds of materials. Historically it has always been tried to use noble materials for the important role they play: music stands, oak wood, stands of gold, stands of silver, lecterns wood with a bath in bread of gold, lecterns of brass, etc...

From the end of the NINETEENTH century, with the revolution of the materials produced in the laboratory, the materials employed in the manufacture of music stands have varied considerably. To this new stream has been added to the lecterns so much of foot as of table. Despite the fact that the music stands, wrought iron, lecterns of brass, music stands, wood ... are still the most purchased, music stands, manufactured with new materials are gradually found their place.

Within the lecterns manufactured with new materials, the ones that are selling are the popularly known as lecterns plexiglas, lecterns acrylic, lecterns PMMA or lecterns plexiglass.

Lecterns acrylic - Pulpits acrylic

The lecterns acrylic, also known as lecterns perspex, are a few of the pieces of furniture for Church that best acceptance are taking. The lecterns acrylic, at many sites called pulpits or acrylic pulpits acrylic, offer their buyers a number of advantages in front of the music stands made with other materials. Atril acrílico para Iglesia - Atriles religiosos de pie

Lecterns acrylic, advantages

  1. Have a high resistance. The lecterns acrylic are very difficult to break or grate unlike the shelves of glass.
  2. Possess a glossy surface and a transparency, which may reach 93%. The music stands made of acrylic are easily combinable the rest of the items of furniture of the altar.
  3. The lecterns perspex are very lights. it can Be moved very easily. But they can also be anchored to the ground to stay in a fixed area of the church.
  4. They are not toxic. Its manufacture is very respectful with the environment.
  5. It is very easy to keep the lecterns acrylic clean. Only pass a damp cloth periodically is enough. In addition they are very resistant to ultraviolet rays so that they go yellow.
  6. Music stands, stand made of acrylic are very stable.
  7. Easily assemblable.