The sanctuary and altar-steps of the high altar are ordinarily to be covered with carpets. If the sanctuary floor be marble, tile, or tessellated woodwork, at least a broad strip of carpet should be placed before the lowest step in plano . On solemn feasts particularly, rugs of fine quality are reserved for the predella and altar-steps. If the whole sanctuary and altar-steps cannot be covered, at least the predella of the high altar, and of the other altars should have a rug (Caerem. Episc., I, xii, 16). Exceptions to this rule: (1) From the time of stripping the altars on Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday the carpets are removed. They are replaced on Holy Saturday before the Mass. (2) During solemn Requiem Masses the floor of the sanctuary and the altar-steps are to be bare although a suitable rug may be placed on the predella and, when a bishop celebrates, in front of the faldstool (Caerem. Episc., II, xi, 1). The same authority mentions that the carpet should be of green colour, but any may be used. Care should be taken that crosses, images of the saints, emblems, e.g. chalice, lamb, etc., and monograms of the Holy Names, etc., be not woven into the carpets, for it is unbecoming and unseemly that the figures of sacred things be trodden upon. These remarks apply equally to marble, tile, mosaic, etc., floors.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online