Altar, Portable

Altar, Portable,

a small tablet of marble, jasper, or precious stone used for mass when said away from the parish altar, in oratories or other similar places. It was termed "super altare," because commonly placed upon some other altar, or on any decent and fitting construction of wood or stone. A special license was needed to enable a cleric to possess and use a portable altar, which license was anciently given by the diocesan, but was afterwards reserved to the pope. Examples of such licenses are common in certain mediaeval documents, and are frequently referred to in the last testaments of the clergy.

 
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