The altar railing in our church, Scarville Lutheran Church, is shaped as a half-circle. It is where we kneel to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
The railing is shaped as a half-circle, but the spiritual symbolism is that of a complete circle. While we gather here on earth to receive God’s gifts at the half-circle altar railing, the saints in heaven complete the circle, joining us in the heavenly feast. Before we go to the altar, we hear the pastor chant: “therefore with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven….” It is a great joy to know that we never commune alone or in a small group—but where God’s people receive His gifts, there He is along with departed saints, who await us to join them: “heaven is our home.”
Rev. Thomas Rank
Professor of Religion
Bethany Lutheran College