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Image of Daniel McCarthy - pulpitPulpit and chair

An ambo is designed as an image of the empty tomb for the ritual proclamation of the good news so that all scriptures proclaimed from there may be interpreted in light of the good news of the resurrection. The lector or deacon proclaims the scripture from the ambo while the presider remains at the chair, where the homily is given.

After the Reformation, the Scriptures were read in Latin by the presider at the altar, and the pupit was used for preaching true doctrine, rather than the teacher’s chair.

This pulpit at Visitation Parish in Kansas City, Missouri, draws from the artistic tradition of pulpit design, including the monumental preaching crucifix, yet puts that tradition at the service of proclaiming the word of God, not from an image of the empty tomb, as would an ambo, but from the image of the crucified. The homily could easily be given from the chair to the right.

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