"For very many this book of Mr. Geoffrey Webb’s will be a Godsend." So penned Fr. Bede Jarrett, OP in the foreword of this invaluable title:
"This brief, but comprehensive work presents a supernatural approach to understanding the center of Catholic life, the altar."
Considered by many to be the "bible" on the subject of the altar, this book covers its historical development, form, symbolism, and vesting. It also addresses the appointments of the altar, such as the cross, candles, use of flowers and reliquaries.
Continuing the words of Fr. Jarrett:
"…It presents to us in its unending formulas the ritual of Redemption. It does not aim at imposing the dead hand of antiquarianism on the adornment of the altar. It deals with the decrees of the Congregation that are in force, some directive, some perceptive, but only such as are of value today."
This book is also an invaluable resource from a practical aspect, as it demonstrates how to construct a proper altar that conforms to the Church’s prescriptions and ideals without exhausting the parish coffers:
"Please do not think that to carry out what is here recorded and to accomplish it… will necessarily be expensive. All that is written here can be done without much cost..."
Webb’s magnificently composed text is complimented with several pictorial examples of altars and line drawings that demonstrate how to implement what he outlines.
A timeless classic, this book will be of general interest to any Catholic, lay or cleric, particularly church architects, liturgical artists, sacristans, those involved in liturgical functions, altar societies, florists, altar vesture manufactures, as well as religion teachers for all ages.
120 pages, softcover.
Among the books which Romanitas Press has reprinted which teaches us something new concerning the liturgy, surely The Liturgical Altar by Geoffrey Webb stands out as a timely teaching tool for those who are seeking out a better understanding of the altar and its surroundings.
As the demand for the traditional Latin Mass continues to steam forward in the U.S. and around the world, the faithful have also responded with hunger for a better comprehension of not only the prayers they hear at Mass, but also the sights they see. The center of which being the altar of sacrifice.
Why is an altar necessary? What are all of the items on the altar and what do they mean?
This book, through text, line drawings, and photographs will give you a clear picture what an altar is supposed to look like.
Every detail is covered—from the rubrics to the history of the altar, it is all here in this handy little volume. The print and image quality is clear and sharp. A very well done reprint for a reasonable price.
Buy one for yourself and one for your priest. Derek Bonnel, ChurchLatin.com
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Review from A Catholic Life blogspot
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It is excellent that this book has been brought back into print. Geoffrey Webb was a good glass-painter, trained by C. E. Kempe, and became an architect and designer of extremely beautiful church furniture and painted glass. He learnt his liturgical principles from Sir Ninian Comper and, of all his followers, was the closest to him in achieving a similar standard of excellence. His brother, Christopher, was a pupil of Comper but his work is not nearly as good as Geoffrey's, Their uncle was the Edwardian architect, Sir Aston Webb, the designer of the facade of Buckingham Palace, among much else.
Geoffrey Webb was a Catholic convert who was received c. 1913. The Liturgical Altar is important for applying the most purified interpretation of the rubrics of the Missal and his recommendations for designing altars still remain exemplary. The illustrations are particularly instructive and deserve study. I hope that many will use it to learn how to do things properly and in the most beautiful manner. Not only was he a gifted artist and scholar, but he had taste. All contribute to this book. Rev. Anthony Symondson, SJ