If you have ever been in one of the big cathedrals of Europe, you may have noticed that the chancel is filled with folding chairs. Or consider this painting by our main man Lucas Cranach, showing Luther preaching Christ:
Notice how the congregation is mostly standing up. Some of the women are in chairs, and a child is on the floor. But there are no pews! It turns out, pews are a relatively recent invention. They started as special seats of honor for the nobility or local gentry, which the families had to pay for. (Notice that if you visit a colonial-era church.) Still most Orthodox churches do without pews. Fr. George W. Rutler gives us the history of pews, making the case that they aren’t necessarily a good idea.