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The Cistercians in Yorkshire title graphic

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The High Altar

The altarstone from Byland
© Ampleforth Abbey
<click to enlarge>
The altarstone from Byland

This was the chief altar and the most sacred part of the church, located beyond the choir at the eastern end of each church. It was here that the Mass was celebrated and the elements of bread and wine consecrated. The high altar stood at the centre of ritual and ceremony, and was, significantly, elevated and set apart from the rest of the church.