Altar rail
Altar Al"tar, n. [OE. alter, auter, autier, fr. L. altare, pl. altaria, altar, prob. fr. altus high: cf. OF. alter, autier, F. autel. Cf. {Altitude}.] 1. A raised structure (as a square or oblong erection of stone or wood) on which sacrifices are offered or incense burned to a deity. [1913 Webster]

Noah builded an altar unto the Lord. --Gen. viii. 20. [1913 Webster]

2. In the Christian church, a construction of stone, wood, or other material for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist; the communion table. [1913 Webster]

Note: Altar is much used adjectively, or as the first part of a compound; as, altar bread or altar-bread. [1913 Webster]

{Altar cloth} or

{Altar-cloth}, the cover for an altar in a Christian church, usually richly embroidered.

{Altar cushion}, a cushion laid upon the altar in a Christian church to support the service book.

{Altar frontal}. See {Frontal}.

{Altar rail}, the railing in front of the altar or communion table.

{Altar screen}, a wall or partition built behind an altar to protect it from approach in the rear.

{Altar tomb}, a tomb resembling an altar in shape, etc.

{Family altar}, place of family devotions.

{To lead (as a bride) to the altar}, to marry; -- said of a woman. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Altar Rail — • The railing which guards the sanctuary and separates the latter from the body of the church. Also called the communion rail Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Altar Rail     Altar Rail …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • altar rail — n. in some churches, a railing separating the altar area from the rest of the chancel …   English World dictionary

  • Altar Rail —    The railing enclosing the Sanctuary in which the Altar stands, and at which the communicants kneel in receiving the Holy Communion, is called, in the Institution Office the Altar Rail. Supposed to have been first introduced by Archbishop Laud… …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • altar rail — al′tar rail n. archit. the rail in front of an altar, separating the sanctuary from the rest of the church • Etymology: 1855–60 …   From formal English to slang

  • altar rail — the rail in front of an altar, separating the sanctuary from those parts of the church that are in front of it. [1855 60] * * * …   Universalium

  • altar rail — noun Date: 1860 a railing in front of an altar separating the chancel from the body of the church …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • altar rail — noun : a railing in front of an altar separating the chancel from the body of the church …   Useful english dictionary

  • altar rail —  Алтарная ограда …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Nora at the Altar-Rail — is a one act opera by Jay Anthony Gach, to a libretto by Royce Vavrek. The libretto is based on the Book of Genesis and inspired by Thomas Hardy s poem At the Altar Rail which is prominently featured in the piece. Written while Vavrek and Gach… …   Wikipedia

  • Altar — Al tar, n. [OE. alter, auter, autier, fr. L. altare, pl. altaria, altar, prob. fr. altus high: cf. OF. alter, autier, F. autel. Cf. {Altitude}.] 1. A raised structure (as a square or oblong erection of stone or wood) on which sacrifices are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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