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altar rail

the rail in front of an altar, separating the sanctuary from those parts of the church that are in front of it.
Origin of altar rail
First recorded in 1855-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for altar rail
Historical Examples
  • You intend to separate them at the church door—perhaps at the altar rail.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • Inside the altar rail stood a strange clergyman with his book open.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • The procession reached the altar rail, and the coffin was put down.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • Snake climbed over the altar rail, and then helped her over.

    The Jewels of Aptor Samuel R. Delany
  • Someone was driving Miriam towards the altar rail and the clergyman.

  • She was standing by the font staring at some one who kneeled at the altar rail.

    Rewards and Fairies Rudyard Kipling
  • We had a nice altar, with the legal ornaments, and an altar rail.

    The Great War As I Saw It Frederick George Scott
  • When Lady Maud Neville arose from her knees at the altar rail there was a beautiful light upon her noble face.

    With the Black Prince

    William Osborn Stoddard
  • From the altar rail to the middle of the aisle the church was crowded—in the free as well as in the paying parts.

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
  • It is alleged that they would strap their precious charges to the altar rail while they were performing the holy offices.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis

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