Desk

DESK. The name usually given to the "reading-pew," mentioned in the rubric before the Commination Service, where morning and evening prayers are said or sung. In 1549 it was directed that the Service should be said "in the Quire" and "with a loud voice." This was done by the Priest near to, and facing, the Altar. In 1552 the Service was directed to be said from such a place as the people could best hear. This direction caused a great commotion, one party retaining their old position in the Chancel, the other performing all services in the body of the Church. In 1559 the rubric before the Order for Morning Prayer was brought into its present shape, and the "accustomed Place" would undoubtedly be the Chancel, but still the discretion left with the "Ordinary" sanctioned the use of the unsightly "reading-pew" or desk, which is occasionally found outside the Chancel and in the body of the Church.