Lesson 4: The Altar

Listen to today’s Lenten Lesson.

A-L-T-A-R.  That’s how you spell altar.

Altar at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome

Hi, this is Fr. Rocky, with our Fourth Lenten Lesson on the Mass.

While the Tabernacle is the most important item in a Church, the Altar is no less important during Mass, because upon the Altar the perfect sacrifice is renewed.  For that reason, when the priest enters and leaves the Mass, he kisses the altar.

The Altar is a direct descendant of the Altar of Sacrifice of Abraham on Mount Moriah.  It is typically made of stone, immovable and truly noble in appearance.  The altar is adorned with an altar cloth made out of linen, because Jesus was wrapped in linen after he died. It is also adorned with a crucifix and up to six candles for feast days, or even seven when the bishop is present.

For Feast Days the Altar may be incensed and decorated with flowers, which can be truly abundant and spectacular in the Churches found in the Philippines and Mexico.

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