The altar is a table covered with a special cloth surrounded with flowers and candles at the front of the church. It symbolizes a sacred place for sacrifices to worship God and give offerings. The tabernacle is also present on the altar and holds the box which contains the eucharist (also known as the host). The host is another symbol of Christ that is celebrated in most Christian faiths. In the Roman Catholic church, members of the congregation have a mass service and go to the altar to receive the Eucharist as a symbol of the body of Christ, also commonly known as communion. Catholics genuflect on their knees or bow their heads at the altar when the blessed sacrament is held up by the priest. Altar boys assist the priest during the mass service in the church. They help prepare the eucharist for communion, ringing the altar bell at specific times during the mass, and sometimes depending on the type of service, the altar boy could be holding the thurible (a vessel that contains incense). They wear special clothing called vestments. The vestments are a type of long cassock, usually of black or red, with a white tunic over the top. On special occasions such as a holy day or a feast day, the altar boys sometimes wear a cross on their chest and during a procession carries a large cross or candle.
Special holiday mass like Christmas or Easter has what is called the children’s service. This service is focusing on the young ones to help them feel included in the congregation. The officiant asks all the little ones, if they wish, to come up onto the altar and together sing festive songs, and sometimes help with the music arrangements by shaking a tambourine or small bell. This really helps to familiarize the children with the church atmosphere.
When a couple decides on a chapel wedding, the altar again becomes one of the main focuses of the room. This is where the wedding ceremony begins, and the vows are exchanged. Therefore, one needs to put a lot of thought into dressing up the altar with flowers, candles, and maybe some bows made from the matching fabric of the bride’s wedding dress.
Standing at the altar waiting for your bride is a big part of your wedding day and will be a memory you will never forget, especially when you see your gorgeous bride coming towards you in the most stunning wedding dress by Calla Blanche style 120208 Evangeline. The altar is set up in the front where everyone can see the full ceremony performed by the officiant.
Being left at the altar sometimes occurs to the bride or groom and can make for pre-wedding jitters.
The altar can be at a location of your choice and doesn’t have to be in a chapel, it could be a destination wedding where you can have a makeshift altar on the beach with a pergola covered in flowers wearing a destination wedding dress by LA Perle by Calla Blanche style LP2021 Lulu or in a garden under an archway. A Jewish couple stands under a chuppah that is made of fabric covering four poles and can be set up in the synagogue or outdoors.
I hope you have found this article interesting, for more interesting articles check out, The A-Z of Wedding Terminology Guide.