History of choir lofts?
  • Geremia
    Posts: 224
    What's the history of choir lofts? What Church document first mentions them?

    They seem to be a relatively late invention, since the choir is part of the sanctuary (or closer to the altar), according to 13th cen. liturgist Durandus (Rationale Divinorum Officiorum bk. 1, ch. 1 "Of a Church & Its Parts", {19}):
    the sanctuary (sanctuarium) is a more sacred place than the choir, and the choir (chorus) more sacred than the body (corpus) [nave]
  • ScottKChicago
    Posts: 350
    Here's a citation from a Wikipedia article ("Choir [architecture]"):

    Schloeder, Steven J. (1998). Architecture in Communion: Implementing the Second Vatican Council Through Liturgy and Architecture. Ignatius Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780898706314. In monasteries, when the choir o[r] schola cantorum was composed of religious, it was usually within the cancelli in front of the sanctuary. The liturgical movement of the Baroque age removed it to a choir loft at the back of the church, thus enabling the sanctuary to be more integrated with the nave.

    There's also the idea that the choir supports the congregation's singing better from a loft than up front.
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  • I lived in a monastery in Italy for a few years which is Poor Clare of Origin, Dating to the time of St. Clare. There, the enclosure for the Sisters Choir was originally in a loft from the back of the Church until an earth quake destroyed it in the 1970s.. so that is at least from the 1100s.
  • Geremia
    Posts: 224
    I'm sure choir nuns have always been outside the sanctuary.
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