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CATAFALQUE (a word of unknown origin, occurring in various forms in many European languages, meaning a funeral scaffold or temporary stage), a movable structure of wood sometimes richly decorated, erected temporarily at funeral ceremonies in a church to receive the coffin or effigy of the deceased; also an open hearse or funeral car.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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