An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church


A book stand or reading desk that holds the book used for reading scripture in public worship. It may also be used for preaching the Word, and it may hold the preacher's notes or sermon text. The lectern where the Word is read and preached is the focal point for attention during the liturgy of the word at the eucharist. The term “lectern” is from the Latin, “to read.” Lecterns vary in design from plain stands to ornate representations of an eagle or a pelican with outstretched wings. The Prayer Book service for the Dedication and Consecration of a Church includes a form for the dedication of a lectern. The prayer for this dedication begins, “Father, your eternal Word speaks to us through the words of Holy Scripture. Here we read about your mighty acts and purposes in history, and about those whom you chose as the agents of your will” (BCP, pp. 570-571). Another term for a lectern is an ambo.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.