Did I commit a sin by going onto the Sanctuary?


#1

Yesterday, I was in a chapel alone and, growing curious I entered into the sanctuary. In the sanctuary, there are three altars, one high altar, a freestanding altar and a side Marian altar. I went to the Marian altar and there I saw a broken altar stone where the glass had been broken. I grew curious, to curious, and I examined the broken piece. Did I commit a sin by doing this?


#2

No, what sin could you have possibly committed? As long as you were behaving reverently and not disturbing anything around the altar you were fine. By the way, does the pastor know about the broken glass and altar stone? If he doesn't, you might tell him.

-ACEGC


#3

You did not commit a sin by going into the sanctuary.

Be sure to check with the sacristan or parish priest before you enter the sanctuary. A broken altar stone indicates the altar relics were taken out as the altar is not used anymore but it's possible for it to be used again.


#4

And it's also wise to get permission (if it isn't normal to enter the Sanctuary in your Church during regular hours) so that there are no liability issues. Just imagine if you were blamed for doing the breaking.


#5

The chapel was at school, so I’m not sure who the pastor of it is. It’s very sad to see so many beautilful traditional altars abandoned. I’ll try see why the altar stone was in that state.


#6

People who are non-priests sometimes have to enter sanctuaries (servers, cleaning people, repairmen), so there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it. That means why you were there was a matter of your intention. It sounds like you had no bad intentions, so there cannot be any sin!

Yeah, report the damage, though, just to be sure somebody knows. With all the selling of relics these days (a sin of simony), maybe one was stolen from the altar…?


#7

[quote="Rocky24, post:1, topic:314083"]
Yesterday, I was in a chapel alone and, growing curious I entered into the sanctuary. In the sanctuary, there are three altars, one high altar, a freestanding altar and a side Marian altar. I went to the Marian altar and there I saw a broken altar stone where the glass had been broken. I grew curious, to curious, and I examined the broken piece. Did I commit a sin by doing this?

[/quote]

If there is more than one altar in a church, only the mensa of the main altar should have a relic embedded in it. In older churches with Marian and Joseph side altars, the relics are typically removed.


#8

The advice have been spot on. Not a sin but you have to be reverent. Generally, unless compelled, I would not enter the sanctuary unnecessarily.


#9

Only if you danced on one of the altars :p


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.