mourners' bench

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mourners' bench (plural mourners' benches)

  1. A bench, seat, rail, pew, etc. set aside for mourners and repentant sinners that is usually found at the front of a revival meeting or evangelical church.
    • 1845 - Adventures Of Captain Simon Suggs by Johnson Jones Hooper: "And then," continued Suggs, "I wanted to git off, but they hilt me, and bimeby I felt so missuble, I had to go yonder" -- pointing to the mourners' seat.
    • 1940 - Salvation by Langston Hughes: That night I was escorted to the front row and placed on the mourners' bench with all the other young sinners, who had not yet been brought to Jesus.
    • 1958 - Home From The Hill by William Humphrey: But what annoyed Fred was having the christening of his son in the very best church in town spoiled by the attendance of any revivalists of the mourners’ bench sort.
    • 1992 - The Mourner's Bench from the album But, What Ends When The Symbols Shatter? by Death In June: Something got hold of me / It ratttled around my head / Early one morning / On the mourner's bench.