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sedile

[se-dahy-lee] /sɛˈdaɪ li/
noun, plural sedilia
[se-dil-ee-uh] /sɛˈdɪl i ə/ (Show IPA).
Ecclesiastical
1.
one of the seats (usually three) on the south side of the chancel, often recessed, for the use of the officiating clergy.
Origin
1785-1795
1785-95; < Latin sedīle sitting-place, equivalent to sed(ēre) to sit1 + -īle neuter noun suffix
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for sedilia

sedilia

/sɛˈdaɪlɪə/
noun
1.
(functioning as sing) the group of three seats, each called a sedile (sɛˈdaɪlɪ), often recessed, on the south side of a sanctuary where the celebrant and ministers sit at certain points during High Mass
Word Origin
C18: from Latin, from sedīle a chair, from sedēre to sit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for sedilia

in architecture, group of seats for the clergy in a Christian church of Gothic style. Usually consisting of three separate stone seats-for the priest, the deacon, and the subdeacon-the sedilia is located on the south side of the chancel, or choir, in a cruciform church (one that is built in the shape of a cross). The earliest sedilia were freestanding stone benches, but late in the 12th century church architects began to recess the sedilia into the chancel wall. Often these recessed seats are on three different levels, descending like steps from east to west. The niches they occupy are frequently decorated with rich canopies, elegantly carved arches, and pinnacles.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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