The Communion Table or Altar

Red altar frontal.
The red frontal announces “Transformation”, when change occurs through the activity and grace of God.  The design captures the moment with energy and power, though the pain and suffering are also present.  It develops from darkness, divided and rigid, to become delicate, radiant and alive as it rises gradually to the top of the altar

This is the focal point of the Cathedral. Even stood at the west door it is the altar that draws the eye. The altar is the holiest part of the church and during a communion service worshippers look towards this place. They face east towards Jerusalem.

The altar is a special table and it is here that the bread and wine shared by Christians at the Eucharist service (often also called the Communion service) is prepared and blessed. During the Eucharist Christians remember the last meal that Jesus had with his friends, in which they shared bread and wine.

In an Anglican (Church of England) church, the bread symbolises Jesus’ body and the wine symbolises Jesus’ blood. During communion, members of the Church come to the altar to eat a small piece of bread and take a sip of wine, to remember Jesus, his life, death and resurrection.

The altar table is covered with a coloured altar cloth and at the Cathedral an altar frontal. The colour of the cloth changes depending on the time of year. Green is for an ordinary time, purple a time of preparation e.g. Advent, or Lent, red for a special day e.g. a saint’s day and gold and white for a festival time e.g. Christmas or Easter.

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