MERGED: How many altars?/Side altars?


In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 1182 states:

The altar is also the table of the Lord, to which the People of God are invited.        
How many altars does your church have?


In my regular parish, we only have one altar; it is freestanding.

But in the parish in the next town, the church was not renovated after Vatican II, so it still has the high altar, with two side altars: one dedicated to Mary, other to Joseph. Even part of the communion rails still remain! :extrahappy:

They have put another altar in front of the high altar in order to celebrate the Novus Ordo versus populum.

However, most of the kneelers have been removed from the pews for some reason. :frowning:

Here are a few pictures from that parish. You can’t see the communion rails, but they are there. The church looks even more beautiful in person:


My Chapel is very traditional with a high altar, side altars dedicated to Mary and Joseph, and a high altar in the back of the Church which is situated under a magnificent stained glass window of Our Lady of Victory. The side altars and tHe high altar in the back contain numerous relics. And (since bben mentioned it) we have a full altar rail!! :smiley: It is the most beautiful Church I’ve ever been to!! :smiley:


Does your parish have side altars? If so, does your priest ever use them for Mass, or does he just use the freestanding altar? :slight_smile:

God bless. :blessyou:


Our church is 140 years old and is a “listed building”, which means in the UK that the original architecture cannot be tampered with. The only thing missing from it’s pre-Vatican ll days is the altar rail, but it could be put back if necessary, being a moveable object.

We have the original High Altar which is awesome and incredibly beautiful, and in it’s original state. In front of that is the modern altar for the Novus Ordo. We also have a side chapel which holds the Altar of Repose which is an amazing work of art. The stained glass is amazing and we have a painted ceiling, a couple of dozen beautiful statues, and a life-sized crucifixion.


Only one. It’s never had more than one. (The parish is 25 years old and the church is 18 years old.)


This is what the parish church I attend in the states looked like until about 10 years ago no it looks bare and plain and sterilized.:frowning:


My parish, like most Syriac churches, has a main altar with two side altars used for the gospel and the gifts (for some reason there is a fourth altar outside the sanctuary that is used as a prothesis). There is another altar in the chapel.

When I was studying in Florence, I would frequent Santa Croce, which I remember correctly had 7 total - 5 altars in the main body of the church (one in the major sanctuary and then 4 smaller out-coves that were patronized by different families) and then two separate chapels with an altar in each.

The duomo of Florence (Santa Maria del Fiore) has 16 altars - there are three sub-domes, each of which has 5 niches that each contain an altar and then there’s the major altar in the middle of the transept.

Last but not least, my favorite church in Florence, San Miniato al Monte, has 3 altars - 1 on the ground level, 1 in the upper church and 1 in the crypt.


We have two. The main altar & a smaller altar.


We have one main altar & one side altar.


Yes, it has a high altar and one on each side. The one on the right side is used fairly often while the one on the left has only been used once as far as I know, at least by our current pastor. The church was built maybe about 12 years ago but is of a quite traditional design.


It will. They’re renovating the Newman Center here, and when it’s finished, it’ll have a side altar.


A main altar and 2 side altars.


One of the parish’s three churches has two side altars, one of which is used for Mass during the week.


Eight in total: five freestanding altars, two side altars and one high altar spread out over three churches.

A nearby parish has nine: three freestanding, four side and two high spread over three churches.


Our church is an asymmetrical blob. leftover from the 70’s. We do not have any side altars; we did manage to get a couple of niches for the Little Flower and St. Anthony statues at the renovation a few years ago and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is ok, otherwise, it looks like a skating rink.


There are two Catholic churches here.

The first Catholic church, which is the oldest of the two, has two altars.    

The second Catholic church use to have four altars:    
 the High Altar    
  the altar dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary   
  the altar dedicated to Saint Joseph   
  and the altar built after Vatican II.    

Eventually the last altar was removed.
Then the marble tops from the altars of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph were removed.
The marble tops were put together to make a new altar.


Our parish has three: the high altar, and two small altars flanking it, one dedicated to the Sacred Heart, the other to the Miraculous Medal (a major devotion in our parish since WWII). The side altars are still used for daily Mass (TLM only).

Here’s a picture of the mary altar from our wedding day. It’s really something to see:


Rich C, The Blessed Virgin Mary altar is extremely beautiful.


It sure it. We usually receive Holy Communion right there at the rail and I always medidate on the tabernacle. You can’t see it here, but it has a gold relief depicting the Annunciation with the words VERBUM CARO FACTUM EST (THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH) in big letters. And truly He is there.

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