Part of the beauty of the church building includes the overall decor and the design of the interior. From rustic to ornate to functional to contemporary, each church has its own style. The church pulpit complements the rest of the furniture and stands as the focal point in each service as the preacher uses it. The pulpit, like a lectern or podium, holds books and papers but is more ornate and larger, adding decor beyond mere functionality. Several church pulpit displays offer different options to congregations.
Wooden church pulpit displays from very plain to ornately carved grace many Christian churches. Crosses, other Christian symbols and even church names or logos embellish the front of wooden pulpits, which can be custom made for a congregation. Some incorporate a combination of woods for a unique or contrasting look. Pulpits may set on wheels for easy movement, be bolted in place or be freestanding, depending on the needs of the congregation.
Other churches, especially more contemporary ones, choose glass, acrylic and Plexiglas pulpits, which may allow the congregation to view the pastor more easily and give the illusion of a larger stage. Clear church pulpits can offer greater functionality. At the church's direction, the manufacturer may etch these with a Bible verse, logo, name or Christian symbol. However, Plexiglas scratches easily, so some congregations opt for a combination of of acrylic and wood.
While not as commonly used, some churches choose granite for a church pulpit display. The underlying meaning signifies that the Bible is like a rock. Granite suggests power and permanence and comes in a variety of colors, even pink.
During the first days of the church, when Christians met in homes, pulpits were not needed. In the Middle Ages, pulpits were used to hold the sacraments, not for preaching. During the Reformation, the church focus on the pulpit increased as it symbolized the authority of the Bible, church and minister. In modern times, the pulpit may carry historical and symbolic meaning or may just be chosen because of its functionality.
As of January 2011, the cost of pulpits ranges from $500 to $5,000, depending on the quality and type of material. Acrylic pieces usually cost less than their wooden or granite counterparts. Congregations may look online or can check into used furniture sites for less expensive alternatives.
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