One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A folding chair used by a bishop when not occupying the throne or when officiating in a church other than his own.
- ‘A faldstool is prescribed by the old English Ritual in the consecration of a bishop.’
- ‘The Celebrant will be a Cardinal and will sit at the faldstool on the Epistle side...The rite of Pontifical Mass at the faldstool will be followed.’
2A small movable folding desk or stool for kneeling at prayer.
- ‘Two types of furniture predominate, the shriving stall in some Suffolk churches, and the faldstool elsewhere.’
- ‘In the modern practice of the Church of England, the term faldstool is given to the reading desk from which the litany is read.’
Late Old English fældestōl, of Germanic origin, from the base of fold and stool, influenced by medieval Latin faldistolium, from Germanic.
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