ALTAR In the NT, as in the LXX, the usual term for ‘altar’ is θυσιαστήριον—a word otherwise confined to Philo, Josephus, and ecclesiastical writers—while βωμός, as contrasted with a Jewish place of sacrifice, is a heathen altar. The most striking example of the antithesis is found in 1 Mac 1:54–59. Antiochus Epiphanes erected a small …

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BLESSING The blessing is a liturgical gesture by which the priest or the bishop makes the sign of the cross over the oblation, the water, or icon. The blessing may also mean a special prayer for the blessing of food or a house. The blessing is inspired by the gesture of Christ in Mark 10:16. …

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