The Early Christianity

The ambo of the Cathedral of Ravenna

In some basilicas in Ravenna, not only the mosaics but also other objects and furnishings evoke the liturgies of the early centuries of Christianity.

For example, inside the Cathedral of the Resurrection, there is an interesting ambo attributed to the patronage of Agnellus, who served as the archbishop in the latter half of the 6th century. The decoration features a sophisticated pattern of animals, including lambs, peacocks, fish, doves, and ducks, all evoking a rich symbolism

The ambo, a term derived from the Greek verb ‘anabaino,’ meaning ‘to ascend,’ is the sacred place from which the Word of God is proclaimed

The term ‘ambo’ originates from the Greek verb anabaino, meaning to ascend. Often confused with the pulpit, the ambo is the sacred place from which the Word of God is announced. It symbolizes the empty tomb from which an angel proclaimed the resurrection of Christ. In the early centuries, many churches had two ambos, each with a specific purpose. The one located along the south nave allowed the reader to face north, moving from light into darkness, while proclaiming the Gospel. Symbolically, Christ’s words illuminated the darkness. The other ambo was reserved for the reading of the Prophets and Letters.

These intriguing remnants from the past serve as a reminder of ancient rituals and the profound spirituality that enveloped the early Christian communities. They evoke an era where faith was lived with deep intensity, and the proclamation of the Word was a moment of immense sacredness and significance

Please contact me to arrange your tour of Ravenna.