40 Lenten Lessons on the Mass.

Lesson 6: Kissing the Altar

As the priest approaches the altar in the sanctuary, he bows and kisses the altar. The kiss is a sign of reverence and it is a sign of love. The altar represents both Christ and the Sacrifice Christ offered for us on a cross. By his suffering and death on the Cross, Jesus redeemed us from our sins and opened up the possibility of salvation for us. For this extraordinarily generous and unmerited act, we are eternally grateful. That’s why the priest kisses the altar.

Typically the altar is a permanent fixture in the sanctuary of the Church, and ideally it is made of stone; just like the altar built by Solomon in the Temple of Jerusalem, and like the altar built of twelve stones — one each for the tribes of Israel — by Elijah the Prophet on Mt. Carmel.

Pictured here is the 12 stone altar (the 12th stone if the table top) on Mt. Carmel today.

Just thought you’d like to know.

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