Often there is a reredos behind it; it is also fenced in by rails to preserve it from profanation of various kinds.
In this festival Pales was invoked to grant protection and increase to flocks and herds; the shepherds entreated forgiveness for any unintentional profanation of holy places of which their flocks might have been guilty, and leaped three times across bonfires of hay and straw (Ovid, Fasti, iv.
The immediate results of disestablishment were civil marriage, the civil registry of births and deaths, and the secularization of cemeteries; but the church retains its influence over all loyal churchmen through the confessional, the last rites of the church, and their sentiment against the profanation of holy ground.
Xliv., are written in a time of the deepest dejection, and yet are psalms of the Temple choirs; whereas, when the Temple was re-opened for worship, after its profanation by Antiochus, the Jews were victorious, and a much more joyful tone was appropriate.
After the Restoration a fence was erected on the inside of the great north door to hinder a concourse of rude people, and when the cathedral was being rebuilt Sir Christopher Wren made a strict order against any profanation of the sacred building.