Lectern, or Lettern

Lectern, Or Lettern

(Lat. lectorium or lectricium), a reading-desk or stand properly movable, from which the Scripture "lessons" (lectiones), which form a portion of the various churchservices, are chanted or read in many churches. "he lectern (also called pulpitum, ambo, suggestus, pyrgus, tribunal, lectriciumn, or, most frequently, lectorium), of very ancient use, is of various forms and of different materials, and is found both in Roman Catholic churches and in the cathedrals and college-chapels of the Church of England. Originally they were made of wood, but later they were frequently also made of stone or metal, and sometimes in the form of an eagle (the symbol of St. John the Evangelist), the outspread wings of which form the frame supporting the volume. In Scotland, during the last century, the precentor's desk was commonly called by that name, and pronounced lettern. See Chambers, Cyclopaedia, vol. 6, s.v.; Walcott, Sac. Archceol. p. 345. SEE EAGLE.

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