Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Place of Honour

"The directives from Rome -- including the new Missal issued two years ago -- say that the tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved is to be located in a very prominent place either at the center or at such a side altar that it is really prominent and that around it there are kneelers and chairs so that people can pray -- kneel down or sit down. And it is to be so prominent that nobody should need to look for it when you enter the church.

Therefore, whenever you enter a church and you look for the tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved and you do not easily see it, then those who arrange it are already wrong. Because it should be prominent -- it should stand out -- to show our faith.

However, it is not a law that it must be at the center. But it is a law that where it is should be prominent. And that it should be easy for people to see it and to go there and pray. But unfortunately in some churches, sometimes those who did it did not know. But they did not know that they did not know.

So you enter the church and you ask where is the tabernacle? "They have taken the Lord away and we do not know where they have put Him". That's what Mary Magdalene said on Easter day."

Words of Cardinal Francis Arinze at a conference in July sponsored by the Apostolate for Family Consecration.


Lynne said...

Our church was 'renovated' in 2000 to be 'liturigically correct' and while the tabernacle is still visible in the center of the church, there are doors in front of it that closed at the beginning of Mass.

Is that a valid thing to do?

I always hate to see the doors close...

The explanation is that the tabernacle distracts ones attention from the Mass...

paramedicgirl said...

"The explanation is that the tabernacle distracts ones attention from the Mass..."

That's an oxymoron, and a strange explanation, indeed. I would think the doors would be closed to prevent the Tabernacle from being in the same room as idle chit chat that so often happens before, during and after Mass, but how can Jesus distract one from the Mass?

We also have a Tabernacle in a side chapel, and the doors are left open. People walk by without genuflecting to Jesus. After Mass, they hang around outside the chapel while people are praying before the Blessed Sacrament with the chapel doors closed, but the noise is so loud, it sounds like a party is happening. It is very sad that so many are uneducated about the Real Presence.

Steve said...

The explanation is that the tabernacle distracts ones attention from the Mass

That's like saying Jesus is distracting one's attention from the Mass! Fortunately we have a large crucifix on the wall behind the altar so He is always in sight. I think it's sad when Catholic Churches are "Protestantized" and have all their wonderful Catholic elements removed.

Anita Moore said...

I know the tabernacle doesn't HAVE to be in the center, but I still wish it did. I hate not knowing what direction to genuflect in.