From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
According to the Bible, the mercy seat (Template:Hebrew Name 1) was an object which rested upon the Ark of the Covenant, and was connected with the rituals of Yom Kippur; the term also appears in the Pauline Epistles, and has a significance in Christian theology. The phrase mercy seat is not a translation of the Hebrew term kapporeth, which appears in its place in the Masoretic text, nor of the Greek term hilasterion, which takes the same place in the Septuagint, but instead is the translation by William Tyndale of the German term Gnadenstuhl, from the same narrative position in the Luther Bible; Gnadenstuhl literally means seat of grace, in the sense of location of grace.
- The term "mercy seat" can refer to misericords (literally translating as mercy), the small ledges in medieval European church pews, which offered relief while standing through long prayers.
- Teen Mania Ministries presented a stage drama based on judgement and redeption offered at the Mercy seat during their 2005 Acquire the Fire tour
- Hymnist John Newton, writer of Amazing Grace wrote the hymn Approach, my Soul, the Mercy Seat. Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes named his 1987 gospel side project The Mercy Seat.
- Nick Cave wrote the song The Mercy Seat for his 1988 Tender Prey album; his 'signature tune', it has been performed at nearly every concert since 1988. The song tells the story of a condemned man facing death on the electric chair seeking redemption in the afterlife. This song was later covered by Johnny Cash on his album, American III: Solitary Man. The American electro-industrial band Stromkern had also covered this song in 1997 on their album Flicker Like a Candle.
- Alternative rock band Ultra Vivid Scene also had a song entitled "The Mercy Seat".
- Neil LaBute wrote his 2002 play The Mercy Seat based on an urban myth of a man who escaped the September 11 attacks because he was seeing his mistress and contemplates running off with her. The play starred Liev Schreiber and Sigourney Weaver and was both commercially and critically successful.
- The song 123 by the Indigo Girls mentions the term "mercy seat."
- Anders Manga's 2006 album Welcome to the Horror Show features a track called "The Mercy Seat."
- Karen Wheaton has a song called "Mercy Seat" on her 1997 album I'm Still Here. This song has also been covered by other contemporary Christian musicians. In addition, the song is a prime example of both Wheaton's neo-gospel style of music and of her theological outlook in terms of lyrics making direct references to markers of salvation in the Bible.
- Cass Mccombs has a song called You saved my life and the lyrics goes "my fate's mercy seat, Sought blood to gulp and flesh to eat" it's in his 2009 album Catacombs
- AA Bondy mentions the Mercy Seat in his 2008 Daytrotter version of the song, "The Mightiest of Guns": "... and the people dragging crosses down the street, see 'em put a child upon the mercy seat."