Church Altars Gallery

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Notre Dame, Montreal, Canada.

According to the Catholic view of the subject, the

"The high altar is so called from the fact that it is the chief altar in a church, and also because it is raised on an elevated plane in the sanctuary, where it may be seen simultaneously by all the faithful in the body of the church. It symbolizes Christ, and it serves at the same time as the banquet table on which He offers Himself through the hands of the priest to the Eternal Father; for Christ is present in our churches not only in a spiritual manner but really, truly, and substantially as the victim of a sacrifice."[1]

Members of other Christian churches may also use the word "altar," but they consider the structure to be, in reality, a "holy table" rather than an altar upon which sacrifice takes place. To them, the item recalls the dining table that Christ and his Apostles used on the occasion of their Last Supper. In keeping with that imagery, their tables or "altars" are usually made with legs rather than being enclosed in the Medieval style and made of stone.


The following scenes are of altars from the worship centers of a variety of different religions and denominations.


The earliest Christians did not use altars. The use of them came from the practice of using the burial caskets of deceased believers as tables for the celebration of the Mass/Lord's Supper; the heart of every Christian was an Altar.


Main Altar Parral Segovia.

Main Altar, El Parral Monastery Church, Segovia, Spain.

See also

Sainte Chapelle, Paris.


Altar gates.

External links

Santa Monica, Mexican church.
Vic Cathedral, Barcelona, Spain.
Main Altar, San Lorenzo in Lucina, Rome. The Crucifix is by Guido Reni.
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