A Catholic church cannot be a church without an altar. This is where the Holy Sacrifice takes place. This is where the host is transubstantiated into the Real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives as Christians, and it is at Mass where we see the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
|I think it's rather majestic-looking, but too bad this altar hides a wonderful high altar and reredoes!|
|Nice little altar in a nice little chapel...|
|Same altar, same chapel, different antependium.|
They're not all perfect examples of altar/sanctuary arrangements, but they are pleasing, I think.
Here are some examples of what NOT to do to altars:
|Well-intentioned, I guess, but showing a complete lack of understanding of what the altar is really all about.|
|To what is your attention directed?! The altar? What altar? I see a bed sheet being used as a backdrop for the floral arrangement!|
|Do I really need to say anything? Okay: Ugh.|
|And please...do NOT use the altar as a desk or catch-all for the priest's notes, etc.|
Here are some links to great articles at The New Liturgical Movement blog: