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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
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Faldstool

A movable folding chair used in pontifical functions by the bishop outside of his cathedral, or within it if he is not at his throne or cathedra

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Faldstool (Lat. faldistorium; also facistorium, faudestolus, faudestola), a movable folding chair used in pontifical functions by the bishop outside of his cathedral, or within it if he is not at his throne or cathedra. Other prelates enjoying the privilege of full pontificals also use it. The rubrics prescribe it as a seat in the conferring of baptism and Holy orders, in the consecration of oils on Maundy Thursday, at the ceremonies of Good Friday, etc. It is prescribed as a genuflexorium at the door of the church at the solemn reception of a bishop, at the altar of the Blessed Sacrament, and before the high altar. Red, green, and violet cloths are ordered as a covering to correspond to the season or the rank of the prelate. It may have once been something like a campstool and it accompanied the bishop in his journeys. Materials, even the most costly, were employed in its construction; one wrought of gold and jewelled was presented to Pope Clement IV by Charles, King of Naples. Some were made of silver, of gilt metal, of ebony, or of wood. They were sometimes elaborately carved, ending in clawlike feet, the four corners at the top representing the neck and head of animals. Cloths of silk of a rich texture with gold and silver served to cover them. A faldstool is prescribed by the old English Ritual in the consecration of a bishop. Of Hugh Pudsey, Bishop of Durham (d. 1195), we are told that on taking the cross for the holy war he had made among other things to carry along with him a magnificent silver chair.

FRANCIS MERSHMAN


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