Consecration of the Altar

What is the significance of consecrating the church and the altar?

The impressive and solemn rites and processes in consecrating a church, ensures that the church conforms to the standards for valid divine worship and the sacraments- Cn 1214.

Therefore, after construction of a new church has been completed, as part of the consecration of the church, at least one fixed altar must be consecrated. Consecrating the altar commemorates the table is set aside solely for the Eucharistic banquet , dedicated to God.

In our Feast day celebration, we will experience this Rite of Blessing, led by Archbishop William, Goh, anointing the altar with chrism oil and incensing it.

Why is the altar the central focus of the liturgy?

The altar is looked upon as the sacrificial stone, upon which Christ, our priest and Victim, offers Himself daily in His Eucharistic Sacrifice. He is Altar, Victim, and Priest. the altar marks the place of the Lord’s sacrifice and the tombs of martyrs and saints. It is the material expression of the Church’s worship. That is why the church building is built around and over the altar.

Why are some altars built over the graves of holy ones?

In the upper room, the table used at the Last Supper becomes an altar.  Underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God- Rev.6:9

In the early Church, efforts were made to construct altars and churches directly over the graves of the holy ones. For e.g., basilicas dedicated to Peter and Paul.

Why are relics included in altars?

In modern times now, with the growing number of churches, pieces of relics (sealed) are instead taken from the martyrs original tombs and given to new churches to be included in their altars.

See you at the feast day celebration and consecration of the altar by Archbishop William Goh. His Grace will be celebrating the Eucharistic celebration at 5.30pm on 29 Sep 2018.