A cathedra is the raised throne of a bishop in the early Christian basilica. [ citation needed ] With time, the related term cathedral became synonymous with the "seat", or principal church, of a bishopric.When used with this meaning, it can be also called the bishop's throne.
The word in modern languages derives from a normal Greek word καθέδρα [kathédra], meaning "seat", with no special religious connotations[ citation needed ], and the Latin cathedra, specifically a chair with arms.[ citation needed ]
It is a symbol of the bishop's teaching authority in the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion churches.[ citation needed ]
The English word "cathedra", plural cathedrae, comes from the Latin word for "armchair", itself derived from the Greek. After the 4th century, the term's Roman connotations of authority reserved for the Emperor were adopted by bishops.[ citation needed ]
The term appears in early Christian literature in the phrase 'cathedrae apostolorum', indicating authority derived directly from the apostles.
The doctrine of papal infallibility, the Latin phrase ex cathedra (literally, "from the chair") was proclaimed at the First Vatican Council by Pius IX in 1870 as meaning "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, the Bishop of Rome defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church."
Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240?) was the first to use cathedra in the meaning of a bishop's see.
Eventually, the main church of a diocese, used as the primary church by its bishop, received the title 'cathedral'. [ citation needed ]The cathedral is literally the church into which a bishop's official cathedra is installed.
The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church makes use of the term cathedral to point out the existence of a bishop in each local church, in the heart of ecclesial apostolicity.
The definitive example of a cathedra is that encased within the Triumph of the cathedra Petri designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1657, and completed and installed in St Peter's Rome in 1666. As early as the 8th century, an ancient wooden chair overlaid with ivory plaques depicting The Twelve Labours of Heracles and some of the constellationswas venerated as the episcopal chair of St. Peter. It is a Byzantine throne with framed fragments of acacia wood encased in the oak carcass and reinforced with iron bands. It was long believed to have been used by the Apostle Saint Peter, but the Holy See recognises that the chair was a gift from Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII in 875. Several rings facilitated its transportation during processions. Pope Alexander VII commissioned Bernini to build a monument to display this relic in a triumphant manner. Bernini's gilded bronze throne, richly ornamented with bas-reliefs , encloses the relic. On January 17, 1666 it was solemnly set above the altar of Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Greater than life-sized sculptures of four Doctors of the Church form an honour guard: St. Ambrose and St. Athanasius on the left, and St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine on the right.
Celebrated on February 22 in accordance with the calendar of saints, the Feast of Cathedra Petri (the Feast of the Chair of Peter the Apostle) honours the founding of the church in Rome and gives thanks for the work of Saint Peter.
A fifth- or sixth-century bishop's throne decorated with elaborate ivory carving is preserved in the sacristy of the cathedral at Ravenna. It bears a monogram in front, "Maximianus ep.", which gave it its name. The identity of the bishop is given by the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia as Maximianus of Constantinople (d. 431), considered as more likely than Maximianus of Ravenna (d. 556).
The Chair of St. Augustine represents one of the most ancient extant cathedrae in use. Named after the first Archbishop of Canterbury, St. Augustine of Canterbury, it is made of Purbeck Marble or Bethesda marble and dates to sometime between the 6th and 12th centuries. Those who argue for an older date suggest that it may have been used to crown the kings of Kent. Canterbury Cathedral, in which the cathedra is housed, maintains that the chair was once part of the furnishings of the shrine of St. Thomas Becket, since dismantled.Since the Middle Ages, it has always been used in the triple enthronement of an Archbishop of Canterbury. He is seated on the throne in the quire as Diocesan Bishop, in the chapter house as titular abbot, and in St. Augustine's chair as Primate of All England. This is the only occasion in which the cathedra is used. A second cathedra is used for other occasions at which the archbishop is present.
The early Christian bishop's throne, or cathedra, stood in an elevated position behind the altar, near the wall of the apse. —and sometimes were adapted as the structures—for early Christian basilicas.[ citation needed ] In the Middle Ages, as altars came to be placed against the wall of the apse, the practice of placing the cathedra to one side (mostly left) became standard.[ citation needed ]It had been the position of the magistrate in the apse of the Roman basilica, which provided the model type
In the Roman Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council, the altar is often free-standing. The cathedra in cathedrals built or renovated after Vatican II is sometimes placed behind the altar, as in ancient Roman basilicas.
In Anglican practice, the cathedra tends to be placed to one side in the choir, although in more contemporary practice, it is commonly placed on the gospel side of the chancel (i.e., to the left of the altar, as one looks at it from the front).
Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic churches have a throne for the bishop in the apse behind the holy table, with seats for the priests (Greek: synthranon) arranged to either side. This location is referred to as the "high place" and represents the presence of Christ presiding over the services, even when the bishop is not present and therefore an icon of Christ is often placed above the bishop's throne. The bishop ascends to the high place only during the divine liturgy, at the Trisagion . For this reason, the consecration of a bishop takes place at the Trisagion, so that he may ascend to the high place for the first time as a bishop during the liturgy at which he is consecrated.
Another throne is provided for the bishop in the nave of the church:
An orlets is usually placed at both the high place and the throne in the nave. An orlets is usually kept permanently on the Russian kafedra, even when the chair is removed; the orlets is, however, removed when a deacon stands on the kafedra to read the gospel.
In Western ecclesiastical architecture, a cathedral diagram is a floor plan showing the sections of walls and piers, giving an idea of the profiles of their columns and ribbing. Light double lines in perimeter walls indicate glazed windows. Dashed lines show the ribs of the vaulting overhead. By convention, ecclesiastical floorplans are shown map-fashion, with north to the top and the liturgical east end to the right.
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican, or simply Saint Peter's Basilica, is a church built in the Renaissance style located in Vatican City, the papal enclave which is within the city of Rome.
The architecture of cathedrals and great churches is characterised by the buildings' large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that derive ultimately from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in Late Antiquity during the Christianization of the Roman Empire.
A papal coronation is the ceremony of the placing of the papal tiara on a newly elected pope. The first recorded papal coronation was that of Nicholas I in 858. The most recent was the 1963 coronation of Paul VI, who soon afterwards abandoned the practice of wearing the tiara. To date, none his successors have used the tiara, and their papal inauguration celebrations have included no coronation ceremony, although any future Pope may elect to restore the use of the tiara at any point during their pontificate.
A throne is the seat of state of a potentate or dignitary, especially the seat occupied by a sovereign on state occasions; or the seat occupied by a pope or bishop on ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many expressions such as "the power behind the throne". The expression "ascend (mount) the throne" takes its meaning from the steps leading up to the dais or platform, on which the throne is placed, being formerly comprised in the word's significance.
The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace — also known by its original French name Cathédrale de Notre Dame de la Paix, its Portuguese variant Catedral de Nossa Senhora da Paz and its Hawaiian derivative Malia o ka Malu Hale Pule Nui — is the mother church of the Diocese of Honolulu and houses the cathedra of the Bishop of Honolulu in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. It is located at the north end of Fort Street Mall in downtown Honolulu. Another cathedra was installed in the Co-Cathedral of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, also serving the diocese.
Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois is the seat of the Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the largest Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. The current Archbishop of Chicago is Cardinal Blase J. Cupich. Holy Name Cathedral replaced the Cathedral of Saint Mary and the Church of the Holy Name, which were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and was dedicated on November 21, 1875. A cornerstone inscription still bears faint indications of bullet marks from the murder of North Side Gang member Hymie Weiss, who was killed in front of the church on October 11, 1926.
A Papal Mass is the Solemn Pontifical High Mass celebrated by the Pope. It is celebrated on such occasions as a papal coronation, an ex cathedra pronouncement, the canonization of a saint, on Easter or Christmas or other major feast days.
The Cathedral of Saint Patrick is a cathedral of the Catholic Church in downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Harrisburg and is the seat of its bishop. It is a contributing property in the Harrisburg Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
An Eagle rug, is a small rug, usually round, upon which Eastern Orthodox bishops stand during divine liturgy and other services.
The Orlets ("Eaglet") is a small round or oval rug, whereon is represented an eagle, with a glory around his head, flying above a city. During divine service, the bishop stands on such rugs, as a reminder that he should, by his teaching and his life, rise above his flock, and be to them an example of a soul aspiring from the things of earth to those of heaven.
An enthronement is a ceremony of inauguration, involving a person—usually a monarch or religious leader—being formally seated for the first time upon their throne. Enthronements may also feature as part of a larger coronation rite.
The Chair of Saint Peter, also known as the Throne of Saint Peter, is a relic conserved in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the sovereign enclave of the Pope inside Rome, Italy. The relic is a wooden throne that tradition claims the Apostle Saint Peter, the leader of the Early Christians in Rome and first Pope, used as Bishop of Rome. The relic is enclosed in a sculpted gilt bronze casing designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and executed between 1647 and 1653. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI described the chair as "a symbol of the special mission of Peter and his Successors to tend Christ’s flock, keeping it united in faith and in charity."
The Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King is a Roman Catholic church in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The cathedral was consecrated on December 19, 1933. It is the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, and the cathedral of the Diocese of Hamilton. The cathedral contains the cathedra of the Bishop, the Most Rev. Douglas Crosby. The cathedral was raised to the status of a minor basilica in February 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Eastern Orthodox church architecture constitutes a distinct, recognizable family of styles among church architectures. These styles share a cluster of fundamental similarities, having been influenced by the common legacy of Byzantine architecture from the Eastern Roman Empire. Some of the styles have become associated with the particular traditions of one specific autocephalous Orthodox patriarchate, whereas others are more widely used within the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Ambon or Ambo is a projection coming out from the soleas in an Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic church. The ambon stands directly in front of the Holy Doors. It may be either rounded or square and has one, two, or three steps leading up to it.
St. Peter's Baldachin is a large Baroque sculpted bronze canopy, technically called a ciborium or baldachin, over the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the city-state and papal enclave surrounded by Rome, Italy. The baldachin is at the center of the crossing, and directly under the dome of the basilica. Designed by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, it was intended to mark, in a monumental way, the place of Saint Peter's tomb underneath. Under its canopy is the high altar of the basilica. Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the work began in 1623 and ended in 1634. The baldachin acts as a visual focus within the basilica; it itself is a very large structure and forms a visual mediation between the enormous scale of the building and the human scale of the people officiating at the religious ceremonies at the papal altar beneath its canopy.
The Cathedral of Saint Joseph of Wheeling or Saint Joseph's Cathedral is the seat of the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. In addition to being the seat of the bishop, the cathedral is home to the oldest congregation in the city of Wheeling, West Virginia. The cathedral is a contributing property to the East Wheeling Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the Catholic Church, the altar is the structure upon which the Eucharist is celebrated.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes is a Catholic cathedral in Spokane, Washington, United States. It is the seat of the Diocese of Spokane.
St Monica's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Catholic Diocese of Cairns. It is located at 183 Abbott Street, Cairns, Queensland, Australia. The cathedral was designed by Ian Ferrier and built from 1967 to 1968. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 31 August 1998.
Ferre also writes:"The exposition of certain Paris (doctors) is of no avail, who affirm that Christ only promised that the faith should not fail of the Church founded upon Peter; and not that it should not fail in the successors of Peter taken apart from (seorsum) the Church"
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