The Eucharist is a Christian rite, considered a sacrament in most churches, as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross and his commission of the apostles at the Last Supper; the elements of the Eucharist, sacramental bread and sacramental wine, are consecrated on an altar and consumed thereafter. Communicants, those who consume the elements, may speak of "receiving the Eucharist", as well as "celebrating the Eucharist". Christians recognize a special presence of Christ in this rite, though they differ about how and when Christ is present. While all agree that there is no perceptible change in the elements, Roman Catholics believe that their substances become the body and blood of Christ. Lutherans believe the true body and blood of Christ are present "in, under" the forms of the bread and wine. Reformed Christians believe in a real spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Others, such as the Plymouth Brethren and the Christadelphians, take the act to be only a symbolic reenactment of the Last Supper and a memorial. In spite of differences among Christians about various aspects of the Eucharist, there is, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "more of a consensus among Christians about the meaning of the Eucharist than would appear from the confessional debates over the sacramental presence, the effects of the Eucharist, the proper auspices under which it may be celebrated"; the Greek noun εὐχαριστία, meaning "thanksgiving", appears fifteen times in the New Testament but is not used as an official name for the rite. Do this in remembrance of me"; the term "Eucharist" is that by which the rite is referred to by the Didache, Ignatius of Antioch and Justin Martyr. Today, "the Eucharist" is the name still used by Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Lutherans. Other Protestant or Evangelical denominations use this term, preferring either "Communion", "the Lord's Supper", "Memorial", "Remembrance", or "the Breaking of Bread".
Latter-day Saints call it "Sacrament". The Lord's Supper, in Greek Κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, was in use in the early 50s of the 1st century, as witnessed by the First Epistle to the Corinthians: When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk; those who use the term "Eucharist" use the expression "the Lord's Supper", but it is the predominant term among Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, who avoid using the term "Communion". They refer to the observance as an "ordinance"; those Protestant churches avoid the term "sacrament".'Holy Communion' are used by some groups originating in the Protestant Reformation to mean the entire Eucharistic rite. Others, such as the Catholic Church, do not use this term for the rite, but instead mean by it the act of partaking of the consecrated elements; the term "Communion" is derived from Latin communio, which translates Greek κοινωνία in 1 Corinthians 10:16: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? The phrase appears in various related forms five times in the New Testament in contexts which, according to some, may refer to the celebration of the Eucharist, in either closer or symbolically more distant reference to the Last Supper, it is the term used by the Plymouth Brethren. The "Blessed Sacrament" and the "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar" are common terms used by Catholics and some Anglicans for the consecrated elements when reserved in a tabernacle. "Sacrament of the Altar" is in common use among Lutherans. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the term "The Sacrament" is used of the rite. Mass is used in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Churches, by many Anglicans, in some other forms of Western Christianity. At least in the Catholic Church, the Mass is a longer rite which always consists of two main parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in that order; the Liturgy of the Word consists of readings from scripture (the
The Blessed Sacrament Most Blessed Sacrament, is a devotional name used in the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, as well as in Anglicanism, Lutheranism and the Old Catholic Church, as well as in some of the Eastern Catholic Churches, to refer to the body and blood of Christ in the form of consecrated sacramental bread and wine at a celebration of the Eucharist. In the Byzantine Rite, the terms Holy Gifts and Divine Mysteries are used to refer to the consecrated elements. Christians in these traditions believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic elements of the bread and wine and some of them, practice Eucharistic reservation and adoration; this belief is based on interpretations of both sacred tradition. The Catholic understanding has been defined by numerous ecumenical councils, including the Fourth Lateran Council and the Council of Trent, quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church; the largest Portuguese feast in the world is held in New Bedford, Massachusetts in honor of the Blessed Sacrament attracting over 100,000 visitors each year.
The Blessed Sacrament may be received by Catholics who have undergone First Holy Communion as part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist during Mass. Catholics believe that the soul of the person receiving the Eucharist must be in a "state of grace" at the time of reception; the Blessed Sacrament can be exposed on an altar in a monstrance. Rites involving the exposure of the Blessed Sacrament include eucharistic adoration. According to Catholic theology, the host, after the Rite of Consecration, is no longer bread, but Body, Blood and Divinity of Christ, transubstantiated in it. Catholics believe that Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb of God prefigured in the Old Testament Passover. Unless the flesh of that Passover sacrificial lamb was consumed, the members of the household would not be saved from death; as the Passover was the Old Covenant, so the Eucharist became the New Covenant. and Reception of the Blessed Sacrament in the Anglican Communion and other Anglican jurisdictions varies by province. Confirmation was required as a precondition to reception, but many provinces now allow all the baptised to partake as long as they are in good standing with the Church and have received First Communion.
Devotions to the Blessed Sacrament vary. Individuals will genuflect or bow in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, which may be reserved in a tabernacle or aumbry on, behind, or near the altar, its presence is indicated by a lamp suspended over or placed near the tabernacle or aumbry. Except among Anglo-Catholics, the use of a monstrance is rare; this is in keeping with the Article XXV of the Thirty-Nine Articles that "the Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use Them." Nonetheless, many parishes do have services of devotions to the Blessed Sacrament, in which a ciborium is removed from the tabernacle or aumbry and hymns, prayers and sentences of devotion are sung or read. In some parishes, when the Blessed Sacrament is moved from the tabernacle, sanctus bells are rung and all who are present kneel. In most Lutheran churches, a person must have had catechetical training prior to a First Communion to receive the Eucharist. More liberal churches allow all who are baptized to receive it.
Similar to the Anglican teaching, Lutherans are taught to genuflect or bow in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, located on an altar. In the Lutheran churches that still celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, like the Catholic Church, a monstrance is used to display the Blessed Sacrament during the Benediction; the Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Church specifies, on days during which Holy Communion is celebrated, that "Upon entering the church let the communicants bow in prayer and in the spirit of prayer and meditation approach the Blessed Sacrament."With respect to Methodist Eucharistic theology, the Catechism for the use of the people called Methodists states that, " Jesus Christ is present with his worshipping people and gives himself to them as their Lord and Saviour". Methodist theology of this sacrament is reflected in a Eucharistic hymn written by one of the fathers of the movement, Charles Wesley: We need not now go up to Heaven, To bring the long sought Saviour down.
Methodists practice an Open Table, in which all baptised Christians are invited to receive Holy Communion. "Code of Canon Law ". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1983. Newadvent.org, "The Blessed Eucharist as a Sacrament". Article from the Catholic Encyclopedia Savior.org - Live Video Stream of the Blessed Sacrament Paragraph 1376 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church EWTN - The Holy Eucharist - Easy yet comprehensive website with Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist PortugueseFeast.com New Bedford's Feast of the Blessed Sacrament Melkite Greek Catholic Rite of Benediction
Peter Julian Eymard
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, SSS, was a French Catholic priest and founder of two religious institutes: the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament for men and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament for women. Eymard was born 4 February 1811 at Isère in the French Alps, his father was a smith. All his life Peter Julian had an intense devotion to the Mother of Jesus. Before his first communion on 16 March 1823, he went on foot to the shrine of Notre-Dame du Laus, he came to know about the apparition of Notre-Dame de La Salette and enjoyed traveling to various Marian shrines throughout France. When his mother died in 1828 Julian resolved to enter the novitiate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and, despite his father's opposition, did so in June 1829, his first attempt as a seminarian ended because of serious illness. Throughout his life, Eymard suffered from poor health ‘weakness of the lungs’ and migraine headaches. After his father's death in 1831, he succeeded--with the help of his former superior--in gaining admission to the major seminary of the Grenoble diocese.
On 20 July 1834, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Grenoble. He was assigned as assistant pastor at the town of Chatte, three years appointed pastor of Mount Saint-Eynard. On his second assignment at Monteynard, the parish, which had a dilapidated church and poor rectory, consisted of a farming community with few people attending Mass. There had not been a regular pastor there for some time; the bishop urged Father Eymard's two sisters to move with him to the rectory. In fact, they furnished the rectory, for the parish was poor. Although Eymard is known to have revitalized the place, he was dissatisfied with parish work, decided to join the Marists, his two sisters were quite devastated. On August 20, 1837, he entered the Society of Mary seminary at Lyon and made his profession in February 1840, he worked with lay organizations promoting devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Eucharist in the Forty Hours. He rose to the position of Provincial of the Society at Lyon in 1844, his new responsibilities included being in charge of the Third Order of Mary, a lay group dedicated to Marist spirituality and to the promotion of the Christian family.
St. John Vianney was a member, his eucharistic spirituality did not spring full-grown from some mystical experience, but progressively. As visitor-general, Eymard travelled throughout France to inspect the various Marist communities, he became familiar with the practice of sustained eucharistic worship during a visit to Paris in 1849, when he met with members of the Association of Nocturnal Adorers who had established exposition and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories. After praying at the shrine of Our Lady of Fourviere on 21 January 1851, Eymard moved to establish a Marist community dedicated to eucharistic adoration. However, his desire to establish a separate fraternity promoting adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was not seen as part of the charism of the Marists, his superiors disapproved. Eymard resolved to leave the Society of Mary to begin his new religious congregation with the diocesan priest Raymond de Cuers. On 13 May 1856, the Paris bishops consented to Eymard's plans for a ‘Society of the Blessed Sacrament’.
After many trials, Eymard and de Cuers established public exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Paris on 6 January 1857 in a run-down building at 114 rue d’Enfer. The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament began working with children in Paris to prepare them to receive their First Communion, it reached out to non-practicing Catholics, inviting them to repent and begin receiving Communion again. Father Eymard established a common rule for the members of the society and worked toward papal approval. A second community was established in Marseille in 1859, a third in Angers in 1862. Pius IX granted a Decree of Approbation in June 1863. Eymard was a tireless proponent of frequent Holy Communion, an idea given more authoritative backing by Pope Pius X in 1905. On 10 January 1969 Blessed Pope Paul VI issued a Letter to the Superior General, Father Roland Huot, S. S. S. of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, lauding the most excellent function of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Outside Mass declaring all those who do so make their Eucharistic Adoration "in the name of the Church".
This concession is included in the revised Roman Ritual, Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, No. 90 in the editio typica. By DECREE of the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, dated 9 December 1995, SAINT PETER JULIAN EYMARD, PRIEST, was inserted in the General Roman Calendar with the rank of optional memoria. Font and fullness of all evangelization and striking expression of the infinite love of our divine Redeemer for mankind, the Holy Eucharist marked the life and pastoral activity of Peter Julian Eymard, he deserves to be called an outstanding apostle of the Eucharist. In fact, his mission in the Church consisted in promoting the centrality of the Eucharistic Mystery in the whole life of the Christian community; the French sculptor Auguste Rodin received counsel from Eymard when Rodin entered the Congregation as a lay brother in 1862, having given up art after the death of his sister. Eymard advised him to return to his vocation. Rodin produced a bust of Eymard.
In 1858, together with Marguerite Guillot, he founded the
A lunette, or lunula, is an liturgical item used by in the Catholic Church for the exposition of the Host. The lunette takes the form of a flat, circular container, composed of a ring of metal holding two glass or crystal discs, which create a round, glass-enclosed space for the Eucharistic Host; this is used for Benediction services. The lunette, containing the consecrated Host, is placed in the centre of a vessel known as a monstrance, or ostensory, which can be mounted or carried within the church; the lunette is kept in another object, sometimes called a lunette or lunula case, a round box on a small stand, serving to hold the Host upright. The lunette resembles another liturgical object, the pyx or carrying case, but their functions are distinct. All of these objects, whenever they contain a consecrated host, are kept within the church tabernacle when they are not in use; the tabernacle may be behind the main altar, at a side altar, or within a special Eucharistic chapel. Rev. William A O'Brien: The Sacred Vessels Biretta Books G Thomas Ryan: The Sacristy Manual Liturgy Training Publications ISBN 9781616710422
Fulton J. Sheen
Fulton John Sheen was an American bishop of the Catholic Church known for his preaching and his work on television and radio. Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923, he went on to teach theology and philosophy at the Catholic University of America as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966, to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the titular see of Newport, Wales. For 20 years as Father Sheen Monsignor, he hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour on NBC before moving to television and presenting Life Is Worth Living. Sheen's final presenting role was on the syndicated The Fulton Sheen Program with a format similar to that of the earlier Life is Worth Living show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network's Church Channel cable networks. Due to his contribution to televised preaching Sheen is referred to as one of the first televangelists; the cause for his canonization was opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of "heroic virtues" – a major step towards beatification – and he is now referred to as "Venerable." Sheen was born in El Paso, the oldest of four sons of Newton and Delia Sheen. His parents are of Irish descent, tracing their roots back to County Roscommon, Connacht. Though he was known as Fulton, his mother's maiden name, he was baptized as Peter John Sheen; as an infant, Sheen contracted tuberculosis. After the family moved to nearby Peoria, Sheen's first role in the Church was as an altar boy at St. Mary's Cathedral. After earning high school valedictorian honors at Spalding Institute in Peoria, Peoria County, Illinois, in 1913, Sheen was educated at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, Kankakee County, attended Saint Paul Seminary in Minnesota before his ordination on September 20, 1919 followed that with further studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, District of Columbia.
His youthful appearance was still evident on one occasion when a local priest asked Sheen to assist as altar boy during the celebration of the Mass. Sheen earned a Doctor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1923, his thesis was titled, "The Spirit of Contemporary Philosophy and the Finite God". While at Leuven, he became the first American to win the Cardinal Mercier award for the best philosophical treatise. In 1924 Sheen pursued further studies in Rome earning a Sacred Theology Doctorate at the Pontificium Collegium Internationale Angelicum, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum. Sheen was the assistant to the pastor at St. Patrick's Church, Soho Square in London, Middlesex for a year, while teaching theology at St. Edmund's College, where he met Ronald Knox. Although Oxford and Columbia wanted him to teach philosophy, in 1926 Bishop Edmund Dunne of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, asked Sheen to take over St. Patrick's parish.
After nine months, Dunne returned him to Catholic University, where he taught philosophy until 1950. In 1929, Sheen gave a speech at the National Catholic Educational Association, he encouraged teachers to "educate for a Catholic Renaissance" in the United States. Sheen was hoping that Catholics would become more influential in their country through education, which would help attract others to the faith, he believed. He was consecrated a bishop on June 11, 1951, served as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York from 1951 to 1965; the Principal Consecrator was the Discalced Carmelite Cardinal Adeodato Giovanni Piazza, the Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina e Poggio Mirteto and the Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation. The Principal Co-Consecrators were Archbishop Leone Giovanni Battista Nigris, Titular Archbishop of Philippi and the Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1966, Sheen was made the Bishop of Rochester, he served in this position from October 21, 1966, to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the titular see of Newport, Wales.
A popular instructor, Sheen wrote the first of 73 books in 1925, in 1930 began a weekly NBC Sunday night radio broadcast, The Catholic Hour. Sheen called World War II not only a political struggle, but a "theological one." He referred to Hitler as an example of the "Anti-Christ." Two decades the broadcast had a weekly listening audience of four million people. Time referred to him in 1946 as "the golden-voiced Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, U. S. Catholicism's famed proselytizer" and reported that his radio broadcast received 3,000–6,000 letters weekly from listeners. During the middle of this era, he conducted the first religious service broadcast on the new medium of television, putting in motion a new avenue for his religious pursuits. In 1951 he began a weekly television program on the DuM
Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, informally named as Francesco, was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Saint Catherine of Siena, he was designated Patron saint of Italy, he became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, it became customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. He is remembered as the patron saint of animals. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the Sultan to put an end to the conflict of the Crusades. By this point, the Franciscan Order had grown to such an extent that its primitive organizational structure was no longer sufficient, he returned to Italy to organize the Order.
Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew from external affairs. Francis is known for his love of the Eucharist. In 1223, Francis arranged for the first Christmas live nativity scene. According to Christian tradition, in 1224 he received the stigmata during the apparition of Seraphic angels in a religious ecstasy, which would make him the second person in Christian tradition after St. Paul to bear the wounds of Christ's Passion, he died during the evening hours of 3 October 1226, while listening to a reading he had requested of Psalm 142. Francis of Assisi was born in late 1181 or early 1182, one of several children of an Italian father, Pietro di Bernardone, a prosperous silk merchant, a French mother, Pica de Bourlemont, about whom little is known except that she was a noblewoman from Provence. Pietro was in France on business when Francis was born in Assisi, Pica had him baptized as Giovanni. Upon his return to Assisi, Pietro took to calling his son Francesco in honor of his commercial success and enthusiasm for all things French.
Since the child was renamed in infancy, the change can hardly have had anything to do with his aptitude for learning French, as some have thought. Indulged by his parents, Francis lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man; as a youth, Francesco became a devotee of troubadours and was fascinated with all things Transalpine. He was handsome, witty and delighted in fine clothes, he spent money lavishly. Although many hagiographers remark about his bright clothing, rich friends, love of pleasures, his displays of disillusionment toward the world that surrounded him came early in his life, as is shown in the "story of the beggar". In this account, he was selling cloth and velvet in the marketplace on behalf of his father when a beggar came to him and asked for alms. At the conclusion of his business deal, Francis ran after the beggar; when he found him, Francis gave the man everything. His friends chided and mocked him for his act of charity; when he got home, his father scolded him in rage.
Around 1202, he joined a military expedition against Perugia and was taken as a prisoner at Collestrada, spending a year as a captive. An illness caused him to re-evaluate his life, it is possible. Upon his return to Assisi in 1203, Francis returned to his carefree life. In 1205, Francis left for Apulia to enlist in the army of Count of Brienne. A strange vision made having lost his taste for the worldly life. According to hagiographic accounts, thereafter he began to avoid the sports and the feasts of his former companions. In response, they asked him laughingly whether he was thinking of marrying, to which he answered, "Yes, a fairer bride than any of you have seen", meaning his "Lady Poverty". On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica, he spent some time in lonely places. He said he had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in the forsaken country chapel of San Damiano, just outside Assisi, in which the Icon of Christ Crucified said to him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair My house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins."
He took this to mean the ruined church in which he was presently praying, so he sold some cloth from his father's store to assist the priest there for this purpose. When the priest refused to accept the ill-gotten gains, an indignant Francis threw the coins on the floor. In order to avoid his father's wrath, Francis hid in a cave near San Damiano for about a month; when he returned to town and dirty, he was dragged home by his father, beaten and locked in a small storeroom. Freed by his mother during Bernardone's absence, Francis returned at once to San Damiano, where he found shelter with the officiating priest, but he was soon cited before the city consuls by his father; the latter, not content with having recovered the scattered gold from San Damiano, sought to force his son to forego his inheritance by way of restitution. In the midst of legal proceedings before the Bishop of Assisi, Francis renounced his father and his patrimony. For the next couple of months Francis wandered as a beggar in the hills behind Assisi.
He spent some time at a neighbouring monastery working as a scullion. He went to Gubbio, where a friend gave him, as an alms, the cloak and staff of a pilgrim. Returning to Assisi, he traversed the city begging stones for the restoration of St. Damiano's; these he carried to the old chapel, set in p
An altar is a structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are found at shrines, temples and other places of worship, they are used in Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism used such a structure until the destruction of the Second Temple. Many historical faiths made use of them, including Roman and Norse religion. Altars in the Hebrew Bible were made of earth or unwrought stone. Altars were erected in conspicuous places; the first altar recorded in the Hebrew Bible is. Altars were erected by Abraham, by Isaac, by Jacob, by Moses. After the theophany on Mount Sinai, in the Tabernacle—and afterwards in the Temple—only two altars were used: the Altar of Burnt Offering, the Altar of Incense. Altars in antiquity The word "altar", in Greek θυσιαστήριον, appears twenty-four times in the New Testament. In Catholic and Orthodox Christian theology, the Eucharist is a re-presentation, in the literal sense of the one sacrifice being made "present again". Hence, the table upon which the Eucharist is consecrated is called an altar.
Altars occupy a prominent place in both Eastern and Western branches. Among these churches, altars are placed for permanent use within designated places of communal worship. Less though nonetheless notable, altars are set in spaces occupied less such as outdoors in nature, in cemeteries, in mausoleums/crypts, family dwellings. Personal altars are those placed in a private bedroom, closet, or other space occupied by one person, they are used for practices of piety intended for one person. They are found in a minority of other Protestant worship places, though the term "Communion table", which avoids the sacrificial connotations of an altar, is preferred by Churches in the Reformed tradition; the altar plays a central role in the celebration of the Eucharist, which takes place at the altar on which the bread and the wine for consecration are placed. The area around the altar is seen as endowed with greater holiness, is physically distinguished from the rest of the church, whether by a permanent structure such as an iconostasis, a rood screen, altar rails, a curtain that can be closed at more solemn moments of the liturgy, or by the general architectural layout.
The altar is on a higher elevation than the rest of the church. In Reformed and Anabaptist churches, a table called a "Communion table", serves an analogous function. Churches have a single altar, although in the Western branches of Christianity, as a result of the former abandonment of concelebration of Mass, so that priests always celebrated Mass individually, larger churches have had one or more side chapels, each with its own altar; the main altar was referred to as the "high altar". Since the revival of concelebration in the West, the Roman Missal recommends that in new churches there should be only one altar, "which in the gathering of the faithful will signify the one Christ and the one Eucharist of the Church." But most Western churches of an earlier period, whether Roman Catholic or Anglican, may have a high altar in the main body of the church, with one or more adjoining chapels, each with its own altar, at which the Eucharist may be celebrated on weekdays. Architecturally, there are two types of altars: those that are attached to the eastern wall of the chancel, those that are free-standing and can be walked around, for instance when incensing the altar.
In the earliest days of the Church, the Eucharist appears to have been celebrated on portable altars set up for the purpose. Some historians hold that, during the persecutions, the Eucharist was celebrated among the tombs in the Catacombs of Rome, using the sarcophagi of martyrs as altars on which to celebrate. Other historians dispute this, but it is thought to be the origin of the tradition of placing relics beneath the altar; when Christianity was legalized under Constantine the Great and Licinius, formal church buildings were built in great numbers with free-standing altars in the middle of the sanctuary, which in all the earliest churches built in Rome was at the west end of the church. "When Christians in fourth-century Rome could first begin to build churches, they customarily located the sanctuary towards the west end of the building in imitation of the sanctuary of the Jerusalem Temple. Although in the days of the Jerusalem Temple the High Priest indeed faced east when sacrificing on Yom Kippur, the sanctuary within which he stood was located at the western end of the Temple.
The Christian replication of the layout and the orientation of the Jerusalem Temple helped to dramatize the eschatological meaning attached to the sacrificial death of Jesus the High Priest in the Epistle to the Hebrews." The ministers, celebrated the Eucharist facing east, towards the entrance. Some hold. After the sixth century the contrary orientation prevailed, with the entrance to the west and the altar at the east end; the ministers and congregation all faced east during the whole celebration. Most rubrics in boo