18 August 2010

Can Fr Zed be right?

Fr Zed refers to an occasion when S Augustine "left the pulpit". Well, Fr Zed's doctoral subject was S Augustine, so I ought not to tangle with him. But ... er ... um ... did S Augustine preach from a pulpit???

8 comments:

Fr LR said...

Oh yes Father, it was a great big affair right smack dab in the middle of things on a very, very lofty platform - very Calvinesque - something like the pulpit in Moby Dick.

Pastor in Valle said...

I seem to remember that it was an African custom for the preacher to sit while the congregation stood. Supposedly this is why Augustine's later sermons are shorter; he was having mercy on his congregation.
Bishops only were permitted to preach—St Augustine was given extraordinary permission while still only a priest.
So I assume that if Augustine was a bishop at the time, he was sitting on his throne to preach.

Mall said...

Correction: Fr Zed's doctoral subject IS St Augustine; 'cause Fr Zed ain't got no doctorate. Just like St Augustine didnee have no pulpit...

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

In his later years, when Bishop Eric Kemp arrived to pontificate at Lancing, his chaplain would quietly explain "We preach sitting now .... just like the Holy Father ..."

Maurice said...

Sometimes Catholics talk of the pulpit when they may mean pretty well anything on the 'sanctuary' (which we usually call the 'altar'!) so it could have meant a lectern or a platform near/on/attached-to/associated with the sanctuary. But then again it might not ...

Joshua said...

Augustine does refer to a movable pulpit, which I imagine had some sort of sounding board attached to help him better be heard...

I was told of this by a Dominican, but don't have any proof to hand - I suppose one could search his online opera omnia for "pulpitum"...

Ian said...

Thanks most recently to Uwe Michael Lang, we have this wonderful image of S. Augustine concluding every sermon with "Turning towards the Lord," and actually turning from the people toward the Altar as he says so. I can picture a great congregation then thundering to its feet, although in those days they were probably afoot anyway.

Ignatius said...

I'm sure Fr Zed's comment was a slip of the finger. I remember whilst writing my dissertation quite some time ago (on mediaeval religion) I used the phrase 'the man in the pew.' Historically inaccurate, of course, but I knew what I meant.

Still, a lesson to think when we type.