Annuntio vobis gaudium maximum… a new ALTAR RAIL is installed!

We need more altar rails folks. 

Therefore I am delighted to share that you can watch LIVE as my friend iPadre and his crew are installing a new altar rail in their parish church.

At least it is live right now.

altar rail

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. AlexE says:

    If it not used for Communion, the altar rail beautifies the Church and makes it obovious that this is a sacred space. Thank God for this, in His Goodness may many more be installed.

  2. TJerome says:

    Great altar rail. Next project, a nice high altar so the priest may celebrate ad orientem!

  3. deborah-anne says:

    Thank you for posting Father Z. This is truly a glorious sight!

  4. Dr. Eric says:

    I thought I would share what I found on the website of iPadre’s Parish Link:

    Daily Mass: Monday thru Friday 7:00 AM; Mondays 5:00 PM (Latin); Saturday 9:00 AM

    Soup & Bread Supper 5:00-6:15 PM
    Stations of the Cross 6:30 PM
    Lenten Talk 7:00 PM

    Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Friday 7:30 AM thru 7:00 PM (All night on 1st & 3rd Fridays)

    Day of Confession
    March 23rd; 7:30 AM thru 9:00 PM

    Lenten Mission
    March 22 – 25, 7:00 PM

    Mass Schedule:

    Monday thru Friday – 7:00 AM
    Saturday – 9:00 AM

    Saturday Vigil – 4:30 PM
    Sunday – 7:30 & 10:00 AM

    Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)
    1st Sunday of the Month – 12:00 Noon
    Mondays (Advent & Lent) 5:00 PM
    Other times, as announced.

    It seems that Fr. iPadre is doing many good things over at his church. I’m glad that I was made aware of him and his parish. Too bad that the parish is 1,147 miles away from my house.

  5. revs96 says:

    To fix the High Altar problem, iPadre would need to make the Altar Ad Orientem only, against the wall. The sanctuary is too small to do it any other way other than what it is now, two Altars: a small Altar of repose and the Main Altar used in both directions. I say there should be only one Altar up against the wall. Trust me it WILL get cramped in Ad Orientem masses, since the servers would kneel on the steps and now the servers will kneel inside the rail I presume. You should look at the pics of what the sanctuary used to look like (they’re on the site in the media section), Fr. Finelli has worked wonders with that sacntuary, all paid for by donations from parishoners and installed brick by brick (or piece of wood by piece of wood?) as people would donate more and more things.

  6. Beautiful, may more parishes bring back the altar rail

  7. AlexB says:

    One of the great effects of Summorum Pontificum is that it is no longer reasonable for a diocesan architectural review board to prohibit traditional liturgical design elements such as an altar rail. They can no longer be dismissed as out-of-touch with today’s liturgy. Quite the contrary, it could be argued that not to have one might deny a future pastor his legitimate right to celebrate the EF as optimally intended.

    It would be interesting to know if there have been any formal challenges yet to a review board’s denial. After all, it would not be surprising if an architectural review board were not even aware of SP. A situation where a denial was appealed, and then won on the appeal, would set an important precedent.

  8. TJerome says:

    revs96, thanks for telling me about the website. I took a look and Father Finelli has indeed done an excellent job with the sanctuary. I’d like to steal him for my parish.

  9. revs96 says:

    The iPadreTV stream is back up with the finished rail:

  10. Henry Edwards says:

    I recently saw a altar rail newly re-installed in a church at the new pastor’s initiative. (Is there some reason, beyond busywork and busybodies, to have such a thing as a diocesan architectural review board?) I understand the parishioners — who immediately asked the new pastor for some Latin in the Mass upon his arrival in the parish — enthusiastically use it as intended. Winds of long-needed change are blowing all around.

  11. Paul M says:

    I pray this is a bandwagon that gets crowded really quickly.

  12. idatom says:

    Fr. Z.;

    This is a letter I wrote attempting to save a communion rail. The rail was removed.


    Fr.XXXXX; 3/10/08

    I am writing this letter to ask you to please reconsider the decision to
    remove St. Bernard’s communion rail. Although I am not a member of your
    parish, many a time I stopped in for a visit on my way to Indiana, the
    church was almost always unlocked.
    Since our Holy Father gave permission last year for all priest to say the
    Ancient Mass, there will now be a need for your rail. A retired priest or a
    newly ordained priest who would like to use the 62 Roman Missal could be
    assigned to St. Bernard with you. Someone will request The Old Mass for a
    funeral or wedding, to be read by a visiting priest. God only knows how
    long you will be there six years, twelve years, or six months, life is
    short. The next pastor may use the 62 Missal and would need your rail.
    I do know there is much interest in the Old Mass over at our seminary,
    they are studying Latin, they will be taught how to say The Mass of the
    ancient church and the new Mass is now being read in Latin each week. There
    are more cassocks, surplices, and amices in our future priest’s wardrobes at
    the Athenaeum now, then we have seen in the past thirty years. Some of
    these men will need communion rails. Please reconsider.

    Thank You
    Tom Lanter

  13. Tom: I am not sure that, if that priest was a liberal, that your argument would convince.

    It would be interesting to assemble here various arguments in favor of communion rails.

  14. TJerome says:

    Tom Lanter,

    The fact that the communion railing survived until 2008 tells me all I need to know about the priest in charge of that parish. With the revival of Church tradition and architecture which has only accelerated in recent years, that priest must be a hardened lefty taking one unnecessary, destructive act while he still can. I bet the railing gets restored once he’s gone. In my experience if railings weren’t removed prior to 1990 they generally were safe from such phillistine action.

  15. Mitchell NY says:

    Glad to see the Altar Rail return in this Church. If not used for Holy Communion it still serves to give definition to the Santuary. How often we just see a carpeted “area” up front but have no real idea where the Santuary begins and ends. It adds visual context to the Sanctuary and when the doors open up it invites us all spiritually in. Often when the time of the Consecration comes I imagine the Sanctuary filling up with an invisible “mist” of the Angels and then Christ, kind of floating about, spilling over the Altar Rails and into the Church. Visually, Altat Rails aid me spiritually because they give defintion to a defined space. Kind of like dry ice flowing over the sides of an opened box. Of course they serve a more meaningful function but this is just one lay person’s imagery since the time of childhood. An imagery is important inside beautiful Church buildings as it lends to the spirituality of the individual. All things Holy. So just one more arguement in favor of them and one that is not taken into account often. How Altar Rails can figure into the imagination and the Holiness and Sacredness of the Sanctuary. When removed my vision is gone.

Comments are closed.