Altar PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Sep 11, 2021

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An altar is a building with a raised top surface used for religious offerings, sacrifices, and other ceremonial reasons. Shrine, temples, churches, and other places of worship all have altars. Paganism, Christianity, BuddhismHinduism, Judaism (until the Second Temple was destroyed), and Modern Paganism all utilise them. They were also used by many historical faiths, including the Roman, Greek, and Norse cults.

Alter, altar, and other spellings were used in Old English. Finally, the French autel, derived from the Latin terms altare, which means platform or stage, and adolere, which means to worship, honour, and give sacrifices to influence powers beyond human comprehension, may have inspired the word “altar.”

The word “altar”, in Greek θ…σιασ”ήριοv, it appears twenty-four times in the New Testament. The Eucharist is a re-presentation in Catholic and Orthodox Christian theology, in the literal sense of making the one sacrifice “present again.” As a result, the altar is the table where the Eucharist is consecrated.

The altar is crucial in the celebration of the Eucharist, which takes place at the altar where the consecrated bread and wine are deposited. Most Christian churches, both Eastern (Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Ancient Church of the East) and Western (Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion churches, Lutherans, and certain Reformed) branches, have altars. Altars are frequently established for permanent usage within designated spaces of community prayer in these churches (often called sanctuaries). Altars are situated in less frequently inhabited locations, such as outside in nature, cemeteries, mausoleums/crypts, and family residences, yet they are nonetheless significant. Personal altars are ones that are established in a single person’s private bedroom, closet, or other area. They are employed for pious acts meant for a single person (often referred to as a private devotion). They are also present in a small number of Protestant churches; in Reformed and Anabaptist churches, a table, commonly referred to as a “Communion table,” performs a similar purpose.


The Eucharist appears to have been celebrated on movable altars put up for the purpose in the early days of the Church. According to some historians, the Eucharist was celebrated among the tombs in the Catacombs of Rome during the persecutions, using the sarcophagi (see sarcophagus) of martyrs as altars. Although other historians disagree, it is considered to be the beginning of the practise of putting relics beneath the altar.

Formal church buildings were erected in large numbers when Christianity was authorised by Constantine the Great and Licinius, usually with free-standing altars in the centre of the sanctuary, which was at the west end of all the early churches built in Rome. “When Christians in fourth-century Rome first had the freedom to build churches, they typically placed the sanctuary at the west end of the structure, emulating the Jerusalem Temple’s sanctuary.

Although the High Priest faced east when offering on Yom Kippur in the days of the Jerusalem Temple, the sanctuary inside which he stood was at the Temple’s western end. The Christian recreation of the Jerusalem Temple’s layout and orientation aimed to emphasise the eschatological significance of Jesus the High Priest’s sacrificial death in the Epistle to the Hebrews. “The Eucharist was celebrated facing east, towards the entryway, by the ministers (bishop, priests, deacons, subdeacons, and acolytes). Some believe that the assembly faced the same direction for the most of the ceremony.

After the sixth century, the opposite arrangement occurred, with the altar on the east end and the entrance on the west. During the celebration, the clergy and the congregation all faced east, and altars in Western Europe started to be permanently erected on the east wall of the chancel in the Middle Ages.

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