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CHAPTER IV.

ALTARS

Can.  1235 §1. An altar, or a table upon which the eucharistic sacrifice is celebrated, is called fixed if it is so constructed that it adheres to the floor and thus cannot be moved; it is called movable if it can be removed.

§2. It is desirable to have a fixed altar in every church, but a fixed or a movable altar in other places designated for sacred celebrations.

Can.  1236 §1. According to the traditional practice of the Church, the table of a fixed altar is to be of stone, and indeed of a single natural stone. Nevertheless, another worthy and solid material can also be used in the judgment of the conference of bishops. The supports or base, however, can be made of any material.

§2. A movable altar can be constructed of any solid material suitable for liturgical use.

Can.  1237 §1. Fixed altars must be dedicated, and movable altars must be dedicated or blessed, according to the rites prescribed in the liturgical books.

§2. The ancient tradition of placing relics of martyrs or other saints under a fixed altar is to be preserved, according to the norms given in the liturgical books.

Can.  1238 §1. An altar loses its dedication or blessing according to the norm of can. 1212.

§2. Altars, whether fixed or movable, do not lose their dedication or blessing if the church or other sacred place is relegated to profane uses.

Can.  1239 §1. An altar, whether fixed or movable, must be reserved for divine worship alone, to the absolute exclusion of any profane use.

§2. A body is not to be buried beneath an altar; otherwise, it is not permitted to celebrate Mass on the altar.




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