at the altar of prayer

flamboyant lad

Senior Member
Hindi
Namaste teachers!

It's from the movie The Pursuit of Happyness

People sing it in a doss house.

People: My burdens, they get so heavy. Seems hard to bear. But I won't give up. No, no. Because you promised me. You'd meet me at the altar of prayer.

Could someone please tell the meaning of "at the altar of prayer" in the given context?

Thanks!
 
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Here's how the WR dictionary defines altar: "a raised place or structure, as a platform, where religious rites are performed." In other words, it's a place where you might pray (and do whatever else is involved in a religious ceremony). Thus, "altar of prayer" is redundant. All altars are prayer altars, so there's no need to modify altar with of prayer. They have done so in this song so that they can rhyme the phrase ("altar of prayer") with "hard to bear."
     

    flamboyant lad

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Thanks Juhasz ji for the reply.

    My dictionary tells me "prayer" is a countable noun.
    Why was an article not used before it? e.g.
    You'd meet me at the altar of a prayer.

    Thanks!
     

    Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Prayer can be countable or uncountable. In its uncountable form, it means "the act or practice of praying" (WR dictionary).
     
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