Ascent to the Altar
With the words "Oremus" ("Let us pray.") the Priest ascends to the altar while saying the prayer " Aufer a nobis " ("Take away from us our iniquities...")
With profound reverence, the Priest kisses the altar-stone and recites the prayer " Oramus te, Domine " ("We beseech Thee, O Lord...") asking that the merits of the saints may be applied for his forgiveness.
It is an ancient tradition of the Church to place the relics of one or more martyrs or saints inside the altar stone to show the close union between their sufferings and those of their Saviour.
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