(Note: This may be more appropriate in Non-Catholic Religions, but I wasn't entirely sure.)
My grandmother is Episcopalian. She is not particularly devout, but is really involved in the social activities of her parish and acts as the parish historian. Once, when my son (who was about 18 months at the time) and I were visiting her, she needed to put up some information in their church and we went with her to do so.
The pastor of her church is a former Catholic priest. He left the Church after being ordained and became Episcopalian (according to my grandmother, so he could get married). While we were at the church, I let my son explore and he wanted to go up into their sanctuary area. At first, I figured no big deal (my grandmother didn't care, and we were the only ones there) so we looked all around the vestibule, the choir area, and the altar. There was a tabernacle (built into the wall) and the sanctuary lamp was lit. I commented on how different it was than Catholic churches, and my grandmother said "Well, we don't make as big a deal out of it. The key's right under it if you want to look in!" :eek: (I refrained from doing so.)
I guess I have two questions:
1.) Was I acting irreverently/impolitely by exploring everything? (I would not have allowed my son to explore the sanctuary if we were in a Catholic church - I don't know that it would be forbidden, per se, but it would seem irreverent to me if it weren't for some "official" purpose such as religious ed.)
2.) Since the priest was validly ordained before he lapsed from the faith, was the Eucharist inside the tabernacle? Or do the rubrics of the Episcopalian liturgy prevent that from happening?
I suppose the answer to my second question might inform the answer to the first. :hmmm: