When I was a child, prior to Vatican II, I was very inquisitive about what the priest was doing at the altar and that I could not see what he was doing.
I told my father it would be nice to see what the priest is doing. He told me that in some churches in Rome, like St.Peter’s, the altar faces the congregation. But, he didn’t suggest that for our humble little church. He suggested mirrors be hung behind and above the altar for everyone to see the priest.
What a great idea!
This is my home chapel’s pre-Vatican II altar:
And this is my post Vatican II bedroom chapel altar (just imagine all the money and heartache that would have not been spent if they followed my lead!):