An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Rood Screen

The term “rood,” from Old English, means cross. Rood screens were used as early as the twelfth century to separate the chancel or choir from the nave. The rood screen was surmounted with a rood beam on which was placed a crucifix or Christus Rex. Candles and other figures such as the Virgin Mary and St. John might also be placed on the rood screen. The rood screen was at times used to separate the monastic chapter in the chancel from the laity in the nave. Such divisions of the congregation have not been encouraged in modern liturgical practice, and rood screens are seldom used today.

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.