from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A railing in front of the altar that separates the chancel from the rest of a church.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. the railing in front of the altar or communion table.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A low rail or barrier running transversely to the main axis of the church and separating the sanctuary from those portions of the church that are in front of it.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The officiant then announces, "Il miracolo é fatto", a Te Deum is sung, and the reliquary containing the liquefied blood is brought to the altar rail that the faithful may venerate it by kissing the containing vessel.