Altar Rails aka Communion Rails installation has begun! How to:

Our craftsmen arrived from Brevard before lunch. Let’s see some progress. A threaded pipe… Interesting. How’ll that work?

The end posts of the altar rails slide over the pipes and are then capped on their threaded tops:

The we placed the cap across the lengths of the rails:

But that picture is unfair, as we do not yet have the granite inserts, 4 inches by 10 feet each. They are due to be delivered later this evening. The design boasts of bevelled pillars thinner at the top than the bottom as one might find in ancient Rome. The simplicity, strength, appropriateness is stunning. I’m very pleased altogether.

The actual altar top is also set to be delivered this evening. It will be less deep front to back, but longer side to side. , which itself will be less “deep” but longer side to side. It may not look like it in this picture but a priest will be able to offer Holy Mass from either side of the altar as per diocesan regulations. No problem. The altar is also far from finished. It will take quite a bit of logistical arranging to engrave the crosses and the “sepulcher” for relics and get ready for the consecration. We’ll have to get some hand made altar linins from Connecticut for the first waxed cloth, another to protect that (both of those the same size as the top of the altar only) and then other fuller cloths that will drape slightly over the edges and can be changed out for the liturgical seasons. To either side of the two pillars on the front of the altar there will solid marble stones with engraved crosses (those have a story about which I now have more details). That will frame the center of the altar. I’m thinking about perhaps putting a mosaic or a carving of the Last Supper. We will see.

The granite for the “altar of repose” as it is somehow called, will also be delivered later this evening. Obviously, we’re not ready to install that yet, so we still have no tabernacle in place. That will take quite a while, as security is paramount.

All the granite for all the pieces was cut from the same slab from Brazil.

We’re going to be creating two lecturns and a credenza.

Some notes:

  • None of the monies for this project came from the parish. Zip. Zero. Zilch. There were plenty of anonymous donations. Most of the money came from out-of-state. All of it was in the form of restricted donations. It all just started pouring in. The angels were at work.
  • Some will immediately notice the candle sticks on the altar, that they are the “wrong side.” Whatever. If someone comes to the parish and wants to offer Holy Mass against the people (versus populum!) the candlesticks take seconds to more from one side to the other. Easy.
  • Some will immediately notice the crucifix on the altar besides the crucifix that will top the tabernacle. Yes, well, that crucifix on the altar of Sacrifice (by the way) is actually hidden by altar cards when we’re offering the Sacred Mysteries by making use of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

The diocesan newspaper has been chomping at the bit to put up some pictures. These are not them. I want to wait until the fullness of the work has been wrought. Sorry! This is just a progress report.


Filed under Liturgy

10 responses to “Altar Rails aka Communion Rails installation has begun! How to:

  1. How very, very beautiful and how moving to see the altar rail in place! I wish this could happen in the Catholic church I attend. Why are some Protestant churches (Episcopal, high Anglican) , with their altar rails and kneeling for reception of their form of the eucharist, more respectful than Catholic churches , with our True Presence of Jesus? I can’t remember the last time I was able to receive kneeling down at an altar rail, in a Catholic church. I hope that at some time we can once again have choice to receive communion on the tongue…

    • Father George David Byers

      Wow. You’re forbidden to receive on the tongue?!

      • Yes, we can’t receive on the tongue here. I never felt called to receive on the tongue before too much, but after seeing for myself the crumbs of the Host left on my hand after receiving recently, and especially after seeing that online video (whether here or on another site, I can’t remember), of crumbs that had resulted from the Host put in someone’s hand, I’m realizing more and more that when we are given back the choice, I want an need to receive Jesus on my tongue, to honor Him and to prevent desecration.

  2. Mildred Reyes

    Hi Father ,thanks for ALL these memos today. I want to help to build our dear Lords renewed sanctuary. But I did not get a true n secure address to send my donation. Will I be able to help with my little pittance? Blessed Pentecost and AMDG mildred
    Sent from my iPad

  3. Gina Nakagawa

    Don’t be sorry, Father. Progress reports like this are the song of an angel choir. God bless you in all your efforts to give Him the glory that is due Him.

  4. Aussie Mum

    Beautiful !!! – a very small and relatively poor parish but rich in love for the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, holy angels at work, generous donors with the means, renovations taking shape … surely part of the Triumph of Mary’s heart, already building.

  5. Tom Schott

    This makes my heart sing…you are doing the Lord’s work, and your parish family is soooo fortunate to have you as their Pastoral Father. Can’t wait to see it this summer. Any chance the same might be done in Robbinsville?

  6. elizdelphi

    Wow, so fantastic. Communion Rails!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the churches of our parish has the originals and we use them, the other one we have to kneel on pads on the steps, I don’t like that, I feel like I will tip, I like having a rail.

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