Worship and Authority
Altars Summary:

Altars were the focal points of worship within the medieval church.  It was on an altar that the primary ritual of the Sacrament of the Eucharist was performed.  The ceremony necessitated ritual dress, the priest robed in a long flowing garment called a chasuble.  Invariably he was accompanied by assistants who would bring the bread, water, and wine for blessing, ring bells at appropriate times, and, according to the solemnity of the service, carry candles and holy water containers, and swing censors.  By the late Middle Ages, almost all churches had multiple altars.  This allowed altars dedicated to specific saints to display the relics of the saint.  Donors also constructed altars against walls and between pillars so that prayers would be said for the soul of the deceased members of the family, many of whom were buried adjacent to the altar.