Sedilia


Sedilia
Sedilia
The name given to seats on the south side of the sanctuary, used by the officiating clergy during the liturgy

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Sedilia
    Sedilia
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Sedilia
    (Plural of Latin sedile, a seat.)
    The name given to seats on the south side of the sanctuary, used by the officiating clergy during the liturgy. The earliest examples are found in the catacombs, where a single stone seat at the south end of the altar was used by the celebrant. Similar single seats are found in Spain (at Barcelona, Saragossa, Toledo, and elsewhere) and England (at Lenham and Beckley). In course of time the number of seats was increased to three (for celebrant, deacon ( see Deacons ), and sub-deacon), which is the number usually found, though sometimes there are four and even five. They became common in England by the twelfth or thirteenth century, and were frequently recessed in the thickness of the wall of the church. In other European countries they are comparatively rare, movable wooden benches or chairs being usual. Some early English examples are merely stone benches, but the later ones were almost invariably built in the form of niches, richly decorated with carved canopies, moulded shafts, pinnacles, and tabernacle work. The piscina was often incorporated with them, its position being east of the sedilia proper. Four seats, instead of three, are found at Durham, Furness, and Ottery, and five at Southwell, Padua (S. Maria), and Esslingen. In many cases they are on different levels and the celebrant occupied the highest, i.e., the easternmost. But when they were all on the same level, which is said to indicate the date at which priests began to act as assistants at Mass, there is some doubt as to which was the celebrant's. If there were only three, it was probably the central one, as in the present Roman usage, but with four or five nothing can be stated with certainty, though possibly the easternmost was considered the highest in dignity. Mention may here be made of the royal chair of Scotland given by Edward I to Westminster Abbey to be used as the celebrant's chair, and it is probably this same seat, on the south side of the high altar, that figures in the "Islip Roll."
    WALCOTT, Sacred Arch ology (London, 1868); LEE, Glossary of Liturgical and Ecclesiastical Terms (London, 1877); MARTIGNY, Dict. des antiquités chrét. (Paris, 1865).
    G. CYPRIAN ALSTON
    Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


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  • sedilia — [si dil′ē ə] pl.n. sing. sedile [sidī′lē] 〚L, pl. of sedile, a seat < sedere, to SIT〛 a set of seats, usually three, traditionally along the south side of a church, for the use of officiating clergy * * * ▪ arc …   Universalium

  • sedilia — /si dilˈi ə/ plural noun (sing sedile /si dīˈli, se dēˈle/) Seats (usu three, often in niches) for the officiating clergy, on the south side of the chancel ORIGIN: L sedīle (pl sedīlia) seat …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sedilia — Se*dil i*a, n. pl.; sing. {Sedile}. [L. sedile a seat.] (Arch.) Seats in the chancel of a church near the altar for the officiating clergy during intervals of service. Hook. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sedilia — [si dil′ē ə] pl.n. sing. sedile [sidī′lē] [L, pl. of sedile, a seat < sedere, to SIT] a set of seats, usually three, traditionally along the south side of a church, for the use of officiating clergy …   English World dictionary

  • Sedilia — The sedilia (the plural of Lat. sedile , seat), in ecclesiastical architecture, the term given to the seats (often) on the south side of the chancel near the altar for the use of the officiating priests. These rebated seats are found in the… …   Wikipedia

  • sedilia — noun plural Etymology: Latin, plural of sedile seat, from sedēre Date: 1793 seats on the south side of the chancel for the celebrant and his assistants …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sedilia — Term used for the stalls of a church in the 11c. A seat or a group of seats for priests, canopied and decorated, near the altar …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Sedilia —    From the Latin sedile, meaning a seat. The name given to the seats near the Altar, usually placed against the south wall, to be used by the Clergy during the sermon at the Holy Communion …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • sedilia — stone seats for clergy in wall of chancel Ecclesiastical Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • sedilia — [sɪ dɪlɪə] plural noun (sing. sedile sɪ dʌɪli) a group of three stone seats for clergy in the south chancel wall of a church. Origin C18: from L., seat …   English new terms dictionary