<--Previous Up Next-->
9 February 2007
The altar of St. Nicholas des Champs in Paris.
The gold thing on the alter is called a monstrance. Within it, there is a consecrated host. Catholics beleive that consecrated hosts actually become the flesh of Jesus, so the display of the monstrance is equivalent to the display of relics of dead saints, except in this case, it's a relic of God, so much more holy, even if much more easy to come by.
There is speculation that the sun-like shape of the monstance is evidence that many church rituals come from a sun-worshpping cult.