Definition of altar rail in English:

altar rail


  • A railing in front of the altar, separating the chancel from the nave.

    ‘But the man made his way up to the altar rail at the front of the Church where he began talking to the priest who had made his way from the lectern.’
    • ‘A more evident change among Presbyterians has been an increase in the number of congregations that prefer taking Communion at the altar rail rather than in the pews, said the Rev.’
    • ‘I always enjoyed being in the sanctuary on Easter, bright spring sunlight pouring in the windows and falling over the altar rail sagging with white lilies.’
    • ‘It also told me that the Elizabethan memorial which I was admiring from a distance (it is right beside the altar and I didn't think jumping over the altar rail was the done thing) is of a bishop's wife, Judith Aylmer, who died in 1615.’
    • ‘The bell was added in 1920, the pulpit came from Westbury Leigh, the altar rail is a recent addition and the chairs were found in an attic in Salisbury.’