Catholic FAQ


Help support Catholic Answers!

Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Jul 14, '09, 7:39 am
Ann4 Ann4 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2009
Posts: 8
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Is a female sacrastan allowed to open the Tabernacle to view how much of the concecrated hosts are in there? I was told I needed to do this to determine the amount of hosts to bring out for Mass.

In Christ-Ann
  #2  
Old Jul 14, '09, 9:10 am
Feanor2 Feanor2 is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: February 25, 2009
Posts: 772
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Why not?

Some here may give some odd reason though. . .
  #3  
Old Jul 14, '09, 9:17 am
passus passus is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2009
Posts: 943
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

It is always preferable for a priest or deacon to open the tabernacle as well as remove and replace consecrated hosts. Lay persons are not prohibited from opening the tabernacle and therefore in the absence of a priest or deacon may do so. However, your church should not by any means be relying on hosts reserved in the tabernacle for distribution at Communion time during Mass.
__________________
I hear those voices that will not be drowned.
  #4  
Old Jul 14, '09, 9:45 am
zab zab is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2008
Posts: 4,326
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann4 View Post
Is a female sacrastan allowed to open the Tabernacle to view how much of the concecrated hosts are in there? I was told I needed to do this to determine the amount of hosts to bring out for Mass.

In Christ-Ann
Yes, you, whether you are female or not, are allowed to open the tabernacle to make an estimate of how many Hosts are in there so you can make a more accurate count of how many more unconsecrated hosts to put out.
  #5  
Old Jul 14, '09, 11:27 am
OhMalley OhMalley is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 17, 2009
Posts: 437
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by passus View Post
It is always preferable for a priest or deacon to open the tabernacle as well as remove and replace consecrated hosts. Lay persons are not prohibited from opening the tabernacle and therefore in the absence of a priest or deacon may do so. However, your church should not by any means be relying on hosts reserved in the tabernacle for distribution at Communion time during Mass.
That's not true.

Parishes dilligently try to set out the right number of hosts to be consecrated for any given Mass. That doesn't always work out. The reason she whould be checking the contents in the tabernacle is to see if she has to reduce (or in some cases actually increase) the number of unconsecrated hosts set-out for the celebration of the Mass. It's responsible to plan to consume consecrated hosts from the tabernacle if there are too many but the focus should always be on trying to set-out the right number as best as possible.
  #6  
Old Jul 14, '09, 12:21 pm
zab zab is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2008
Posts: 4,326
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMalley View Post
That's not true.

Parishes dilligently try to set out the right number of hosts to be consecrated for any given Mass. That doesn't always work out. The reason she whould be checking the contents in the tabernacle is to see if she has to reduce (or in some cases actually increase) the number of unconsecrated hosts set-out for the celebration of the Mass. It's responsible to plan to consume consecrated hosts from the tabernacle if there are too many but the focus should always be on trying to set-out the right number as best as possible.
Perhaps Passus could have worded it a little better, but I understood his post to be in agreement with what you have said, that is, the sacristan should try to set out the right number as best as possible. There is one exception, by the way- on Holy Thursday a large amount of Hosts are consecrated and put in the tabernacle to be distributed on Good Friday.
  #7  
Old Jul 14, '09, 1:35 pm
paperwight paperwight is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 641
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann4 View Post
Is a female sacrastan allowed to open the Tabernacle to view how much of the concecrated hosts are in there? I was told I needed to do this to determine the amount of hosts to bring out for Mass.

In Christ-Ann
I'm interested why you specify a *female* sacristan. Can we analyse your misgivings a little? Are you worrying that there might be something wrong with an *unordained* person opening the Tabernacle, or the fact that you are female and doing so?

Do some people in your parish have a problem with females in the sanctuary or something?

If there is any possible objection to a sacristan opening the Tabernacle, on the grounds of their not being authorised, then whether they are female or not shouldn't come into it.
  #8  
Old Jul 14, '09, 2:26 pm
OhMalley OhMalley is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: May 17, 2009
Posts: 437
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zab View Post
Perhaps Passus could have worded it a little better, but I understood his post to be in agreement with what you have said, that is, the sacristan should try to set out the right number as best as possible. There is one exception, by the way- on Holy Thursday a large amount of Hosts are consecrated and put in the tabernacle to be distributed on Good Friday.
We have another exception locally. We have a huge outreach to local hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and the homebound. Saturday is a huge day for these activities. We will often set-out far more hosts at the early saturday morning Mass to provide for this ministry. We also have two kinds of hosts. One brand is quite small and thin that makes it easier to consume for some of the elderly and ill and we have to take that into consideration as well.
  #9  
Old Jul 14, '09, 4:32 pm
John Lilburne John Lilburne is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 13, 2004
Posts: 1,823
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from http://www.romanrite.com/girm.html :
"317. In no way should all the other things prescribed by law concerning the reservation of the
Most Holy Eucharist be forgotten. [footnote 131: 131. Cf. particularly in Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments, Instruction Nullo umquam
tempore, 28 May 1938: AAS 30 (1938), pp. 198-207; Codex Iuris Canonici, cann. 934-944.]

This 1938 Instruction is at http://www.romanrite.com/nullo.html and includes:
"7. Special remarks must be made regarding the keeping of the key of the tabernacle in the churches of nuns or sisters, and in pious or religious houses of women. In view of the Statute of Canon 1267, whereby every privilege to the contrary being recalled, the Blessed Eucharist cannot be kept in a religious or pious house, except in the church or principal oratory, nor in the case of nuns, within the choir or enclosure of the monastery, local Ordinaries should bear well in mind, and insist on it, that the key of the Sacred Tabernacle is not to be kept within the enclosure. [Footnote 7: Cfr. Resolution of S.C.R., May 2, 1878, ad VI (decree 3448); H.E. Cardinal PETROUS GASPARRI, op. cit., 266, n. 998] Henceforth it is to be kept in the sacristy, so as to be obtainable at once, when need arises, and, when the church functions are over, and especially at night, it is to be placed in some safe, solid and secret receptacle under two keys, one of which is to be kept by the Mother Superior of the Community, personally or through a substitute, the other being entrusted to some nun, for instance, the sacristan, so that the offices of both are required in order to unlock the above-said place. Let their Lordships, the Bishops, give due attention to this ordinance, and rigidly insist on its execution, without any acceptation of persons, so that abuses and irreverences be avoided, which redound on the Blessed Eucharist."

The previous paragraph had: "... If he leaves the key in the sacristy under another key; he can give this latter to the sacristan during such time as he is absent, and the key of the tabernacle may be needed. ..." Presumably this was referring to a male sacristan.

So what has changed since 1938? Females can become Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. In this role: "Such ministers may open the tabernacle and also, as required, place the ciborium on the altar or place the host in the monstrance. At the end of the period of adoration, they replace the blessed sacrament in the tabernacle. ..." (Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, n. 91, from The Rites Volume One, Liturgical Press, 1990, ISBN: 0-8146-6015-0, page 673).

Also the 1983 Code of Canon Law has in 938 "The person in charge of a church or oratory is to see to it that the key of the tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is reserved, is in maximum safe keeping." But it does not say the key must be held be a cleric, or that a male sacristan is safer than a female one. These assessments are to be made by the person in charge.
  #10  
Old Jul 14, '09, 9:23 pm
Ann4 Ann4 is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: June 26, 2009
Posts: 8
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperwight View Post
I'm interested why you specify a *female* sacristan. Can we analyse your misgivings a little? Are you worrying that there might be something wrong with an *unordained* person opening the Tabernacle, or the fact that you are female and doing so?

Do some people in your parish have a problem with females in the sanctuary or something?

If there is any possible objection to a sacristan opening the Tabernacle, on the grounds of their not being authorised, then whether they are female or not shouldn't come into it.
Sorry for the confusion. I just assumed that everyone would know that my being a female would be a dead give away that I am not ordained. I wanted to be sure that I was following the Church's tradition and teaching.

Thanks to all who replied.

Ann
  #11  
Old Jul 15, '09, 4:53 am
passus passus is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 13, 2009
Posts: 943
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMalley View Post
That's not true.

Parishes dilligently try to set out the right number of hosts to be consecrated for any given Mass. That doesn't always work out. The reason she whould be checking the contents in the tabernacle is to see if she has to reduce (or in some cases actually increase) the number of unconsecrated hosts set-out for the celebration of the Mass. It's responsible to plan to consume consecrated hosts from the tabernacle if there are too many but the focus should always be on trying to set-out the right number as best as possible.
The number of hosts to be consecrated during Mass should have little, if anything to do with how many are reserved in the tabernacle. Whenever possible, all the hosts to be distributed at a particular Mass should be consecrated at that Mass. The tabernacle is only for remaining hosts and for emergencies, such as when viaticum is brought to the sick.

“So that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the Sacrifice being celebrated”, it is preferable that the faithful be able to receive hosts consecrated in the same Mass (Redemptionis Sacramentum 89).

It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord's Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass (GIRM 85)...
__________________
I hear those voices that will not be drowned.
  #12  
Old Jul 15, '09, 9:42 am
zab zab is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2008
Posts: 4,326
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMalley View Post
That's not true.

Parishes dilligently try to set out the right number of hosts to be consecrated for any given Mass. That doesn't always work out. The reason she whould be checking the contents in the tabernacle is to see if she has to reduce (or in some cases actually increase) the number of unconsecrated hosts set-out for the celebration of the Mass. It's responsible to plan to consume consecrated hosts from the tabernacle if there are too many but the focus should always be on trying to set-out the right number as best as possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by passus View Post
The number of hosts to be consecrated during Mass should have little, if anything to do with how many are reserved in the tabernacle. Whenever possible, all the hosts to be distributed at a particular Mass should be consecrated at that Mass. The tabernacle is only for remaining hosts and for emergencies, such as when viaticum is brought to the sick.

“So that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the Sacrifice being celebrated”, it is preferable that the faithful be able to receive hosts consecrated in the same Mass (Redemptionis Sacramentum 89).

It is most desirable that the faithful, just as the priest himself is bound to do, receive the Lord's Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass (GIRM 85)...
  #13  
Old May 26, '10, 8:11 pm
Geremia Geremia is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: February 24, 2008
Posts: 1,743
Religion: Latin Rite Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor2 View Post
Why not?

Some here may give some odd reason though. . .
Well, I thought only priests' consecrated hands could touch a ciborium, chalice, or monstrance. And what is a woman even doing in the sanctuary, anyways? (Oh wait, most tabernacles aren't in the sanctuary by the altars anymore for some odd reason... well, probably so the priest can face the people, ad populus, and not have his back to God... yet another reason for ad orientem.) Why are lay people usurping what is a proper role of an ordained priest? If the proper roles between men and women, let alone between the laity and priests, are blurred, then why make a distinction between men and women or between the laity and priests? Why even have priests, then?

I go to adoration in a chapel where the tabernacle is off to the side in a separate room, not by the altar where it should be. A women came in and unlocked it and took out a ciborium. I was appalled. How was I supposed to know if she was the sacristan or a layperson stealing consecrated hosts for devil worship? We seriously need to guard our tabernacles with our lives; they contain God Himself!
  #14  
Old May 26, '10, 8:44 pm
curlycool89's Avatar
curlycool89 curlycool89 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Posts: 3,765
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Feanor2 View Post
Why not?

Some here may give some odd reason though. . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geremia View Post
Well, I thought only priests' consecrated hands could touch a ciborium, chalice, or monstrance. And what is a woman even doing in the sanctuary, anyways? (Oh wait .......

<snip>
Hmm, it took that long eh?
__________________
Seminarian Engineering Graduate 3rd Degree Knight

Lord God, we ask you to bless and protect the Holy Catholic Church.
"God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" - Romans 5:8
  #15  
Old May 26, '10, 8:49 pm
JReducation's Avatar
JReducation JReducation is offline
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2007
Posts: 20,148
Religion: CATHOLIC
Default Re: Can a female sacrastan open the Tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geremia View Post
Well, I thought only priests' consecrated hands could touch a ciborium, chalice, or monstrance. And what is a woman even doing in the sanctuary, anyways? (Oh wait, most tabernacles aren't in the sanctuary by the altars anymore for some odd reason... well, probably so the priest can face the people, ad populus, and not have his back to God... yet another reason for ad orientem.) Why are lay people usurping what is a proper role of an ordained priest? If the proper roles between men and women, let alone between the laity and priests, are blurred, then why make a distinction between men and women or between the laity and priests? Why even have priests, then?

I go to adoration in a chapel where the tabernacle is off to the side in a separate room, not by the altar where it should be. A women came in and unlocked it and took out a ciborium. I was appalled. How was I supposed to know if she was the sacristan or a layperson stealing consecrated hosts for devil worship? We seriously need to guard our tabernacles with our lives; they contain God Himself!
The bold is mine. There is no rule that says that only consecrated hands may touch the host, ciborium, monstrance, etc. There never has been a rule. Thomas Aquinas posed such a teaching. But it was never adopted by the Church. The reason that it was never adopted was one of Sacred Tradition.

The consecration of hands is reserved only for those who are being ordained to the order of presbyter. Their hands are consecrated because they bless and consecrate, not because they hold the Blessed Sacrament.

To say that only consecrated hands can touch the host of sacred vessels would contradict sacred tradition. From Apostolic times those ordained to the order of Deacon have handled the host, carried it from place to place, lead exposition and more. The consecration of hands is not part of the diaconate ordination. Later, the ministry of acolyte was added. Acolytes often handle the Eucharist. They do not have consecrated hands either. Abbots of monasteries and Abbesses of enclosed nuns have always had access to handling the Eucharist for the sick in the house or for exposition. Most Abbots are not priests and no abbesses are priests. Therefore, their hands are not consecrated.

That being said, the are rules about who may or may not open the tabernacle. It should be someone with the authority to do so: deacon, priest, bisohp, abbot or abbess and when necessary an acolyte. Canon law allows such things to be delegated to the laity, only when there is no ordained minister to do so. For example, in a religious house of brothers or a convent of sisters or a mission.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF
__________________
Fraternally,

Brother JR, FFV

"Forget not love."
Closed Thread

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8032Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: GLam8833
4819CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: James_OPL
4286Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: lsbar
4027OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: fencersmother
3810SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3363Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: James_OPL
3184Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: libralion
3145Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
2959For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Kellyreneeomara
2682Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: James_OPL



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:38 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2013, Catholic Answers.