73. At the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist the gifts which will become Christ’s Body and Blood are brought to the altar.
First of all, the altar or Lord’s table, which is the center of the whole Liturgy of the Eucharist,[Inter Oecumenici 91; Eucharisticum Mysterium 24] is made ready when on it are placed the corporal, purificator, Missal, and chalice (unless this last is prepared at the credence table).
The offerings are then brought forward. It is a praiseworthy practice for the bread and wine to be presented by the faithful. They are then accepted at an appropriate place by the Priest or the Deacon to be carried to the altar. Even though the faithful no longer bring from their own possessions the bread and wine intended for the liturgy as was once the case, nevertheless the rite of carrying up the offerings still keeps its spiritual efficacy and significance.
Even money or other gifts for the poor or for the Church, brought by the faithful or collected in the church, are acceptable; given their purpose, they are to be put in a suitable place away from the Eucharistic table.
The main gifts are the bread and wine. Gifts for the poor or the Church are “acceptable.” Many places bring monetary gifts to the altar. The Latin refers to the “mensam eucharisticam,” the actual table top. I’m inclined to think that placing gifts of money or for the poor on the altar is a no-no. And perhaps there are better places for the collection than directly under or near the altar itself. What’s the practice in your parish?