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Reredos

A medieval Anglo-French word meaning “screen,” this denotes the decoration found behind and above the altar in the chancel of a church, and usually under the east window. In its earliest manifestation it took the form of Christian paintings on the wall, but developments in the Middle Ages led to the production of elaborate rich silk or jeweled metal screens. Other forms which became common were carved wooden panels and sculptured stone or alabaster figures and symbols. Though used widely in Episcopalian churches of all types, evangelical Anglicans tend to dislike their usage.