The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Beware: this preacher is armed

A reader sent me the picture below (I’m not sure where it was shot; it was sent to him by a friend) and noted: “Having traveled all over the US and Europe I haven’t even seen it before. So, I thought that you might be able to poll your alert readers to see if anyone has seen this before or knows what the original designers intended for the faithful to interpret.”

Any ideas? He sent two pictures, from two different churches, both featuring a pulpit with that arm holding a crucifix (one from the left,the other from the right.)


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Deacon Dean

posted July 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm

This from a book entitled "Scenes and Shrines in Tuscany" by Dorothy NEvile Lees (1906): "The great pulpit, which Brunelleschi designed, was set high against a pillar. From it projected – a favorite addition to Italian pulpits – an arm holding up a crucifix, a symbol that the preacher's mission is to display "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified" before the people's eyes."

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Meredith Gould

posted July 30, 2009 at 10:34 pm

In my new book, Why Is There a Menorah on the Altar? Jewish Roots of Christian Worship (Seabury), I explain how much of church decor finds its source in Judaism and, more specifically, Leviticus. This, however, would not be an example!

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Deacon Ken

posted July 31, 2009 at 9:30 am

My guess is that it has something to do with EWTN's Fr Corapi

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posted July 31, 2009 at 1:04 pm

"Menorah on the Altar?"I assume, then, you have seen an Orthodox altar, although that is far from the only example of Judaic influence on Orthodoxy.

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