from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An elevated place or structure before which religious ceremonies may be enacted or upon which sacrifices may be offered.
- n. A structure, typically a table, before which the divine offices are recited and upon which the Eucharist is celebrated in Christian churches.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A table or similar flat-topped structure used for religious rites.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A raised structure (as a square or oblong erection of stone or wood) on which sacrifices are offered or incense burned to a deity.
- n. In the Christian church, a construction of stone, wood, or other material for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the communion table.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An elevated place or structure, a block of stone, or any object of appropriate form, on which sacrifices are offered or incense is burned to a deity.
- n. In most Christian churches, the communion-table.
- n. The steps at the sides of a graving-dock.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the table in Christian churches where communion is given
- n. a raised structure on which gifts or sacrifices to a god are made
These souls appeared "under the altar," that is, _at the foot of the altar_, being the same as that described in chap. 8: 3 -- "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne."
In this the term _altar_ is alone made use of; but in the first Liturgy of King Edward the Sixth, published in 1549, the altar or table whereupon the Lord’s Supper was ministered is indifferently called _the altar_, _the Lord’s table_, _God’s board_.
The word altar (sometimes spelled oltar) is used in the Old Slavonic and Russian languages to denote the entire space surrounding what we know as the altar, which is included behind the iconostasis, and is the equivalent of the Greek word bema.
The term "altar call" is an interesting one that has theological complexities that many of us make take for granted.
The main altar is home to the most revered statuette in Jerez.
Above the altar is a portrait of St. Francis de Sales, painted by a fellow convert who became a Visitation sister.
Above the altar is the first of a series of six statues of Saints connected to the Benedictine Order (interestingly, and presumably to stress this connection, they all wear the black Benedictine habit, even under the Mass vestments): my patron Saint, St. Gregory the Great.
Beghind this altar is the image of the Entombment, which dates from before 1503 and is the last station of a way of the Cross leading up to St. Getreu:
Down the steps of the altar is another "pivialista" who is carrying the archiepiscopal cross and two acolytes with candles ( "cantàri").
The orienting of the celebrant's chair toward the altar is also quite a good (and simple) change in this sanctuary -- also placing focus upon the altar.