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Altar of Repose

(Sometimes called less properly sepulchre or tomb, more frequently repository).

The altar where the Sacred Host, consecrated in the Mass on Holy Thursday, is reserved until the Mass of the Presanctified (See Good Friday) on the following day. It is prescribed that the altar of repose be in the church and other than the one where Mass is celebrated. In the Mass on Holy Thursday two hosts are consecrated; after the consumption of the first, the second Host is placed in a chalice, which is covered with a pall and inverted paten; over the whole is placed a white veil, tied with a ribbon. This remains on the corporal in the center of the altar till the end of Mass, when it is carried in solemn procession to the altar of repose, there to remain in the tabernacle or in an urn placed in a prominent position above the altar. Individual churches vie with one another in rendering these altars of repose with their respective chapels ornate in the extreme, with rich hangings, beautiful flowers, and numerous lights. Catholic piety has made Holy Thursday a day of exceptional devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and the repository is the center of the love and aspirations of the faithful. Mention of the altar of repose and the procession thereto is not found before the close of the fifteenth century. The reservation of the Consecrated Species in the Mass of Holy Thursday, spoken of in earlier liturgical works, was for the distribution of Holy Communion, not for the service on the following day.

ANDREW B. MEEHAN Transcribed by Lawrence Progel

From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1996 by New Advent, Inc., P.O. Box 281096, Denver, Colorado, USA, 80228. (knight@knight.org) Taken from the New Advent Web Page (www.newadvent.org).

This article is part of the Catholic Encyclopedia Project, an effort aimed at placing the entire Catholic Encyclopedia 1913 edition on the World Wide Web. The coordinator is Kevin Knight, editor of the New Advent Catholic Website. If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile project, you can contact him by e- mail at (knight@knight.org).


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You are here: Art & Architecture > Architecture Features > Altar of Repose  Back one page.

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All contents © copyright, 1998-2014
The Catholic Liturgical Library
http://www.catholicliturgy.com