What is on the Sanctuary?

The following furniture and fittings are present on the sanctuary
during the celebration of Mass.


The sanctuary is the front part of the church from where the Priest stands during Mass. It is usually elevated from the nave, where the congregation sits.

The Altar

The altar is the table where the Priest celebrates the Eucharist and reminds believers that this is a special meal. We bring our gifts of bread and wine to the altar. They become Jesus' Body and Blood.


Candles are used in Catholic worship to represent the light of Christ. During Mass, candles may be held on either side of the Priest as he proclaims the Gospel. At least two candles are placed on or near the altar.

Presider’s Chair

The Priest celebrating Mass sits on the presidential chair during some parts of the Mass. Every Catholic church has a presider's chair. In a cathedral the chair is called a cathedra. It is for the Bishop or Archbishop.


The tabernacle is where the Consecrated Hosts, which have not been used during Mass, are kept. There is a red light left on somewhere close by to remind us that Jesus is present in the hosts.


During the Mass, the Word of God is read from the lectern. This helps to remind us that what believers are hearing is important and worthy of paying special attention to. The lector is the person who reads the First and Second Readings during Mass. Then the Priest or a Deacon reads the Gospel.


A crucifix, a cross with the figure of Jesus, is always clearly visible during Mass. The crucifix reminds us that Jesus died and rose again to new life.

Statues and Images

Statues or images of Jesus, Mary and the saints are in the church to inspire us try to live like they did.

Credence Table

This is the table where the items that are going to be used for the Mass are stored.

Sanctuary Lamp

The red light near the tabernacle is known as the Sanctuary Lamp. A lit Sanctuary Lamp signifies the presence of God in the tabernacle that contains the Eucharist.


After going through the tour of the Church online, take students on a tour of the school’s own Church and find all of the things mentioned in the online tour. Take photos of each for display in the classroom, along with a label and explanation.


Using the photos taken in your own school’s parish Church, create a liturgical bingo or snap game with photos, labels and explanations of each feature, dependent on the level of the students.



Students complete a chart by drawing and labelling things Jesus used to celebrate the Last Supper and things in the Church we use to celebrate the Eucharist.


Students create a three-dimensional diorama of a Church and create and label objects/furnishings.



  • Can you find the ... in our Church/chapel/Mass centre?
  • Is it similar or different from the one on the computer? How?