Altar, Wooden, an altar made of wood. Anciently the altar was usually constructed in the form of a table, and hence was called the "divine" or "holy table." The wooden altar-table on which Peter is said to have offered the Christian sacrifice is still preserved at Rome. In the Eastern churches the altars are commonly of this material. The same has been the case in the Church of England since the religious changes of the 16th century. Slabs of stone should be, as they frequently are, placed on the top of the table, which slabs, being marked with five crosses, are that part which is specially consecrated with prayer and unction.