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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Ecclesiology

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"a word, of recent use, is the name which has been given in the British Islands to the study of Church architecture and decoration. Besides discriminating the various styles of ecclesiastical architecture, ecclesiology takes account of the ground plan and dimensions of a church; of its orientation, or the deviation of its line from the true east; of its apse, or circular or polygonal east end; of its altar or communion-table, whether fixed or movable, stone or wood; of its reredos, dossel, or altar-screen; of its piscina, or basin and drain for pouring away the water in which the chalice was rinsed, or the priest washed his hands; of the sedilia, or seats for the priest, deacon, and subdeacon, during the celebration of the Eucharist; of the aumbrye, or locker, for the preservation of the communion vessels and elements; of the 'Easter sepulcher,' or recess for the reception of the host from Good Friday till Easter day; of the altar- candlesticks; of the altar-steps; of the altar-rails; of the credence table, or shelf on which to place the communion elements before they were put upon the altar; of the 'misereres,' or elbowed stalls; of seats within and without the chancel walls; of the height of the chaincel as compared with the nave; of the chancel arch; of the rood-screen, rood-staircase, rood- door, and roodloft; of the piers or columns; of the triforium or blindstory; of the clerestory; of the windows; of the parvise-turret, or outside turret leading to the parvise; of the roof or groining; of the eagle-desks and lecturns; of the pulpit; of the hour-glass stand, by which the preacher was warned not to weary the patience of the flock; of the reading pew; of the benches, pews, and galleries; of the aisles; of the shrine, fertour, or reliquary; of the benatura, or holy-water stoup; of the corbels, with special reference to the head-dress figured on them; of the pavement; of the belfry; of the baptismal font, with its accessories, the baptistery, the steps, the kneeling-stone, the chrismatory, the cover, and the desk; of the tower, with its lantern, parapet, pinnacles, louvres, windows, buttresses, and bells; of the porch and doors, with their niches and seats; of the parvise, or priest's chamber, above the porch; of the mouldings; of the pinnacle crosses; of the gurgoyles, or rain-spouts; of the church-yard or village cross; of the church-yard yew; of the lych-gate, or corpse-gate, where the corpse was met by the priest; of the crypt; of the confessional; of the hagioscope, or opening in the chancel arch through which the elevation of the host might be seen; of the lynchnoscope, or low window in the side wall of the. chancel, the use of which is uncertain; of the chest for alms; of the table of the ten commandments; of the church plate; of the faldstool, or litany stool; of the embroidered work; of the images of saints; of the church well; of the sepulchral monuments and brasses, with their inscriptions; of the chapels or sacristies; of the vestry; of the dedication crosses. Ecclesiology has a literature of its own, including a monthly journal, called The Ecclesiologist. There are societies for promoting its study, one of which, The Ecclesiological, late Cambridge Camden, Society,' has published A Handbook of English Ecclesiology (Lond, 1847)."


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ecclesiology'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/e/ecclesiology.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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