Around Europe we find some of the most beautiful churches ever built. I visited Regensburg Cathedral recently, but I have been to many other Gothic cathedrals, such as Notre Dame de Paris and Cologne Cathedral.
All of these cathedrals have High Altars, like the image attached to this post of the one at Notre Dame de Paris. It bothers me, though, that none of them seem to be used anymore. They just stand there, lonely and neglected. The cathedral of my Archdiocese doesn’t even have one like that anymore. They tore it out.
I suppose there is a connection to the placement of altars facing the congregation, but I still find it hard to imagine that the High Altar is never used. Not even for the Extraordinary Form — if we ever had one — I gather.
Can you think of reasons why that may be the case, or are you aware of circumstances that would prove otherwise?