altar

An altar is a raised area in a house of worship where people can honor God with offerings. It is prominent in the Bible as "God's table," a sacred place for sacrifices and gifts offered up to God.

The word altar comes from the Latin altārium, meaning "high," and also to the Latin adolere, which means "to ritually burn or sacrifice," which suggests its early purpose as detailed in the Bible. Nowadays, the altar is the place for non-sacrificial religious rites such as communion or weddings, and is a metaphor for offerings. Comedian Stephen Fry once said, “I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance.”

DEFINITIONS OF: altar

1

n a raised structure on which gifts or sacrifices to a god are made

Types:
high altar
the main altar in a church
Type of:
construction, structure
a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts

n the table in Christian churches where communion is given

Synonyms:
Lord's table, communion table
Type of:
table
a piece of furniture having a smooth flat top that is usually supported by one or more vertical legs
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