When walking into a church, it is expected to see a pulpit located at the front of the church. But, pulpits have not always been a necessary piece of furniture for churches. In fact, in the Old Testament times, when there were not established churches, where congregations could gather for worship, there were no pulpits, instead there were scrolls. In fact, it has been recorded that when the scrolls were read, the reader would stand up while reading it, and then return to their seat when finished. Some say that the reader would stand out of reverence of reading the scriptures, while others believe that there was a practical reason for this as well, as the scrolls were large and bulky.
While there is no definite timeline for how long this method was practiced, it is believed to have been customary for over a hundred years. The first recording of a change come in the third century when it is recorded in the Old Testament that Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage, writes a letter making a reference to his pulpitum. While this is not in reference to the church pulpit as we know it today, the context of the letter implies that it was a raised platform where the clergy sat. It is a symbol of the elevation of those who had been ordained by the Church as clergy over the congregation.
It wasn’t until later years that pulpits began to be used regularly in churches, often viewed as a symbol of authority. In the early days of pulpits, they were adorned with ornate carvings that were meant to minimize the presence of the one standing behind the pulpit. This was done to give emphasis to the words and not the speaker. Today’s pulpits are less ornate, but still serve an important purpose in congregations. Whether it is still used as was originally intended as a means for Sunday sermons to be delivered from, or as some modern ministers use simply to hold their notes, scriptures, or hymnal, church pulpits are a symbol of worship for many in attendance.
At Born Again Pews, we understand the importance that a pulpit plays in Sunday worship, and overall church atmosphere. Therefore, we are committed to providing quality pulpits that can be used as means to deliver a sermon or serve as a symbol of something more.