At least it's a nice chair?
Not to defend these images... but originally (before the Tridentine style mass) the chair of the presiding priest (a bishop with the full Priesthood or parish priest with his delegated powers) sat on a chair such as that at the apse or east end of the church behind the altar... (do remember that churches 'descend' from the basilicas or law courts of the Roman Empire, where the secular magistrate presided in like fashion) So because of this fact the celebration of the mass versus populo also since the priest/CELEBRANT CELEBRATED the mass looking towards the people...this is/was the essence of a public mass: a high mass (prior to the Tridentine tradition). Now, for low mass (aka PRIVATE mass) priests may well have used an altar facing the wall... no seat would be required since for such simplified masses the ceremony was/is usually without attendanding deacons or a nave full of faithfull (though there can be altar servers and faithfull present...as we normally see in such situations...) As for the lectern in front of the chair of the presiding priest, I recently found evidence in the Codex Vigilanus and Emilianense of Spain, which show the proceedings of the 7c. Councils of Toledo etc...Anyhow - my wish is not to be confrontational on the matter - but shedding a light on a past further back than common memory affords.While some priests may be changing their altar configurations without a clue why (which is not often the case...priests did took theology classes and history lessons etc. in seminary which account for things the rest of us sometimes miss as to why they're doing what they do...) maybe they aren't replacing God for man... but instead returning to a forgotten praxis... In this case even a curule-chair is used(the roman magistrates with jurisdiction were termed "curule magistrates" because they sat on this type of backless folding chair - curule roughly meaning 'of the curia/court'). The church term is "faldistorio" or "faldstool" btw.So I have spoken. God Bless.(I pasted my same response as in the other posting with same heading -with certain aditions- because I thought it pertinent... I hope no one thinks it im-pertinent for it... ;)
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