A Model Roman Altar

To speak of a "model" Roman altar is perhaps somewhat hyperbolic. After all, the tradition has seen a couple of basic forms in its long history, from the altar covered with ciborium to the altar with its attached reredos -- however, in terms of the former, there is no denying its ancient pedigree. This particular example is something of a combination of the two, including a ciborium and an altar without gradines, but also being arranged similar to the altar attached to a reredos. The end result is quite pleasing to say the least. 

There are a few elements which make this altar a model. One is the very pristine arrangement of an altar, covered by ciborium, with candlesticks, cross and tabernacle upon it. What's more, there is the inclusion of the antepedium upon the altar.  The end result is noble, beautiful and simple -- which isn't to say that it is the only such manifestation of these qualities -- but it certainly is such a manifestation.

This arrangement represents some of the very best thinking of the early Liturgical Movement and it is worth emulating in whatever capacity parishes and the like are able to.

This example shows once again that "noble simplicity" should not to be construed with minimalism. Ornamental beauty and simplicity are far from being at odds with one another.

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