Altar Cover

Crochet altar cover, Mafra Basilica, Portugal Crochet altar cover, Mafra Basilica, Portugal

An altar cover is used on some Christian altars to protect it from dust and dirt and to draw attention to the most important element of the church. An altar cover is a length of cloth, usually rectangular (but square or shaped forms also occur), which is placed over the altar. It normally hangs down the front and back. Part of the altar is normally left visible.

Altar covers are often decorated with appliqué and embroidery techniques, as well as lace of various forms. Some Catholic and Orthodox Churches have very elaborate rules as to the appearance of the altar cover. Sometimes it is placed on top of a series of other textile coverings. 

In some Christian Churches (usually Protestant or non-Conformist), the altar is a very simple, table-shaped item of furniture, and there are no elaborate rules concerning the types and range of textiles placed on the altar.

See also the TRC Needles entries on the altar frontal and superfrontal; dossal; laudian; lectern fall; parament.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 22 June, 2016).


Last modified on Saturday, 22 April 2017 19:14