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A ledge or rest on the underside of a hinged seat in a choir stall. It was designed to provide "merciful" support for monks or others needing help to stand during long periods of worship. The term is from the Latin for "mercy." A misericord may be carved or decorated. The term is also used to describe a room set apart in a monastery for those whose age or infirmity requires some relaxation of the community rule. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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