Altar Rails

Has anyone seen this happening in their parish? Oh, I pray our parish and others would return to the altar rail.

I know everyone won’t agree but I think it would be great. Especially after reading and learning the meaning behind the altar rails. It shows so much more reverence for what is going on at Mass.

Our parish in Greenville, SC. uses altar rails. Some will stand at the railing, but regardless, the altar is completely surrounded by it so you have to make a decision to stand or kneel, and if you want to kneel, you don’t have to go somewhere special.

My Parish has an Altar Rail and we always kneel for Holy Communion and we have a Latin Mass every sunday as well.

Reading that made me more at ease with kneeling at OF Mass… even though my priest rolls his eyes. I’d love to go to EF but I can’t afford to drive 4 hours each weekend, or I would.

We drive 2 hours each way every weekend, and at $4.00/ gallon its gets tough.

The article completely ignores the many abbey churches going back a more than a thousand years which never had altar rails and where communion was never recieved kneeling.

“First, the Holy Father is requiring holy Communion from him be received on the knees."

I’m open to correction, but I’m not sure that this is an accurate statement.

The article certainly is one sided, and ignores an entire part of our faith which never recieved kneeling, never had altar rails, and had large open sanctuaries with frestanding altars.

I am not advocating one way or another, but simply pointing out that the communion rail has never been a universal norm in our Church as the article seems to suggest.


You know…it is ok to go to a OF mass…especially if it is real tight for you and the gas money.

What you’re describing is more “religious” than “secular” and without regard to the reasons for the difference, nor the ancillary aspects which provide solidarity otherwise.

Religious things need to stop being thrust into the secular parishes. If I wanted to be a Franciscan, I’d be one. We’re not religious, and without the entirety of the culture to provide stability in the lack of other aspects, such things become detrimental to the victims of their presence.

It would be equally injurious to suddenly force the religious to adopt secular practices.

I feel you there. The Air Force has sent my family on a 1 year babylonian exile to california and we’re driving an hour and fifteen each sunday to avoid the new springtime. Cant wait to get back to Omaha in 8 months!

If by “ok” you mean valid, then sure thats true. But if we’re talking practical effects on faith and spirituality, for some of us its just plain not ok. We go when we need to, like holydays of obligation during the week. But the hip-swinging, or loud drums, or cheesy sermons full of foot ball jokes or stories about puppies, or any host of other wonderful products of the new springtime make it almost unbearable. Thats not even mentioning the almost total lack of reference to sacrifice and over emphasis on meal and fellowship, the anthropocentrism, the disrespect shown to our Lord in the Eucharist, the yapping before and after while we try to pray, or the immodestly dressed lectors, the use of lay ministers of communion despite the fact that the church’s explicit guidelines on conditions under which they may be used are never met and on and on and on. Anyway, I’ll stop as I don’t want to derail the thread, but my point is, for those of us who are aware of the actual differences between the two forms (both the order of mass and the cultural “additions”) and who have rejected the “new springtime fever” as I call it and have become part of the growing minority of “crazy, unreasonable trads”, it simply isn’t “ok” if at all avoidable and its certainly worth the trouble to avoid it.

Besides, a 2 hour road trip is simply more time to listen to all those Michael Davies talks from :slight_smile:

If Chuck Norris were Catholic, he’d attend the Tridentine Mass and it would reduce him to tears.
:hypno: Hypno-Smiley tells no lies.

That could get dangerous: I hear he only cries bullets…

Although I disagree with much of what you’ve written (in that I believe certain developments in parrochial liturgies were legitimate, valid and are great aids to one’s sanctification)…

… I gotta admit…

… that I would prefer a baldacchino with a free-standing altar vs. an altar backed up against a reredo anyway day of the week. Also, your comment does make me dreamy for the days when instead of altar rails we had templons and rood screens … and when we never knelt and sat for liturgy but stood and bowed …but I’ll take what I can get. :thumbsup:

Well, yes, that is correct. But how many of us are talking about religious orders specifically? There are usually separate threads for order-specific discussions. I believe it is cruel to force religious practices onto parishes and secular practices onto orders.

Why not have both? A baldacchino can stick out from the wall.

Don’t stop at altar rails, I wanna see rood screens back too. Something about that Holy of Holies connection gets to me :thumbsup:

Nice! Where is that? Must go…

By the way, what are templons and baldacchinos?

A baldacchino is a sort of roof over an altar. They stick out from the wall, but more commonly, they are built on four pedestal/column things. The Papal Altar at St. Peter’s has a giant baldacchino over it, for example.

Ah yes, we have one of those at our FSSP parish. Monstrous thing. Always wondered what it was called (and how they got it in the building…)

That’s in St. Mark’s in Venice. Here’s one painting of St. Mark’s interior to give you a clearer look at the whole templon structure. Here’s one during the consecratory moment in a time before pews.

A templon is kind of like an Eastern iconostasis but it’s not opaque and it doesn’t really have icons on it. It’s made of columns with a cross on top of it with Mary and St. John (and maybe other figures) beside the cross. In the picture of St. Mark’s, the templon is what’s being showed. It’s kind of a columnar division between the nave and the sanctuary. We didn’t have altar rails back then since altar rails replaced templons so my assumption is that we all received communion standing. Unless of course people had no problem kneeling on the floor/carpet without a rail.

The baldacchino is kind of being hidden in that same picture but you can see it in the back behind the templon. It’s the canopy, built on four columns, over the altar. There are indications that a long, long, long time ago, there used to be curtains that would be closed over the altar during certain points in the liturgy, like the consecration - just like in the Syriac rite. They don’t really do that anymore with Roman baldacchino and they’re mostly for show.

Technically the word “baldacchino” only refers to the one in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It’s true architectural term is “ciborium” - yes, exactly the same word used to refer to the golden container where we place consecrated hosts. If you Google image it, you’ll get the golden container but you’ll also get examples of baldacchini/ciboria.

Google Search For “Baldacchino”

Google Search For “Ciborium”

One of the most beautiful modern examples of baldacchini are from Duncan Stroik’s architecture portfolio… there are more here and here. You can either look here which is his Flickr account or you can Google is name and look at his portfolio.

May I ask which FSSP parish you go to that makes use of a baldacchino? I don’t think they’re monstrous at all. I think they’re stunning.

Here’s another beautiful picture of a sanctuary: