Divine Mercy painting

I had a question. At my parish, there was a little of a debate going on whether or not it was liturgically acceptable to place the Divine Mercy image on top of the niche where the Tabernacle is at. The Tabernacle is not set behind the altar, but to the east of the sanctuary within the wall. If I can, I will provide a picture so you can get a better idea.

If the debate is whether it’s more appropriate to have a Divine Mercy painting or a blank wall, I say the painting, but what does the local bishop (the actual liturgical authority) say ? In any case, I don’t think that what goes onto the church sanctuary is something that the “parish decorating committee” should be deciding. So my question is: who’s actually debating whom and why?

all i know as long Jesus Christ is present in the middle theres no problem, lke here in our Parish, a very very large glass made picture of risen Christ in the middle above all, its on top of the terbenacle

I saw a question the other day where the answer stated that it is forbidden to place anything on the tabernacle. In the older churches with the high altars against the wall there are frequently crosses and angels above the tabernacle. Not sure if this is licit or if it has just been grandfathered in.

Right, that was discussed in this thread. Art and relics cannot be placed on a tabernacle. Many tabernacles are built such that they’re surmounted by a cross, but so long as something like that is part of the design of the tabernacle, it’s not forcing the tabernacle to serve as a pedestal. I’m not sure the authorities have anything to say about hanging a painting on the wall above a tabernacle, but I would think good judgment would have to be exercised in considering whether the arrangement appeared to make the tabernacle subservient to the artwork.

Ok sorry for taking my time in replying, I’ve been really busy at church. Here’s the scoop, last year one of my friends from our prayer group lead the Divine Mercy chaplet and the paiting was placed on top of the wall of the Tabernacle. During the novena, the painting hung there, but my friend was asking the parish priest if the painting may stay, but the priest said no that he didnt want that “saint” there, and the people in charge of the liturgy in the parish said that it was not liturgical to have the painting above the tabernacle. My friend left it at that, and I’ve been wondering now since the feast is coming up.

Some 60 years or so ago a small church I attended in Maine had a large copy of the Barrel-head Madonna above the altar, which contained the tabernacle. I remember reading someplace at the time that it was forbidden to have any painting above the altar, but exception was made for those cases in which it had been there from “time immemorial”. It also noted that “time immemorial” = 30 years or more [short memories :rolleyes:]. I don’t know if that law survived all the subsequent changes.

I was watching a video on YouTube of some choir singing at Mass and they were showing their tabernacle and it must have been during the Christmas season, because they had the baby Jesus laying on top of their tabernacle, along with Joseph and Mary. I guess this isn’t licit…

I get what you guys are saying about the tabernacle when it is behind the altar in the sanctuary. But since the tabernacle is not in the sanctuary, it is in a niche. You don’t even go into the sanctuary to get to the tabernacle, it’s to the right of it. So do the same rules still apply?

Well, the “rules” that you don’t set art, flowers, relics, etc. on the tabernacle apply wherever it is. But as to whether it’s appropriate to have art hanging over where the tabernacle is located, I would think it’s actually less appropriate when the tabernacle is in a separate niche, where it should have complete pride of place, than when it is on a high altar. Behind a high altar, a painting basically forms an altarpiece or reredos, as with Titian’s famous Assumption in Venice or the famous altarpiece at St. Mary’s in Krakow (hard to see, but I think there’s a tabernacle down there).

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