Vatican City, Feb 28, 2018 / 04:41 am
Pope Francis said Wednesday that having Mass centered around the altar is meant to remind faithful that the cross is the first Christian altar on which Christ offered the sacrifice of his life.
During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Church uses various signs to "continually makes present the sacrifice of the new covenant sealed by Jesus on the cross," the Pope said Feb. 28, adding that "this was the first Christian altar."
"When we draw close to the altar during Mass, our memory goes to the altar of the cross where the first sacrifice was made," he said.
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims attending his general audience, which this week was divided into two areas due to the cold temperatures in Rome – the main group was in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, while the overflow watched the audience from inside St. Peter's Basilica, instead of the square outside, where chairs are still dusted white from Monday's rare snowfall.