Kissing the Altar

“When the priest approaches the altar, the very first thing he does is kiss the altar. In keeping with an ancient tradition, kissing an object shows a reverence for what or whom it represents. The altar symbolizes Christ; it is also the place where the sacrifice of Calvary takes place anew. So in kissing the altar, the priest greets his friend and Lord, for whom he has given over his life and for whose service he has been ordained. At the same time, presiding over the assembly, he acts for all believers in showing the Church’s love for her spouse, Jesus Christ.” (Archbishop Charles Chaput)