I was just wondering if, when we enter Church before Mass and genuflect in reverence for the Eucharist in the Tabernacle…is the Eucharist there?..because it hasn’t been consecrated yet. Or, are there consecrated hosts always kept there? Also, today at Mass I noticed that the priest consecrated the Host, then after that went to the Tabernacle and took out the containers of Hosts to be distributed at Communion. Did they become consecrated during this consecration, or previously?
Yes, there are always consecrated hosts (consecrated at a previous Mass) reserved in the Tabernacle. They are there so that the Eucharist may be taken to the sick and disabled, etc.
When you genuflect to the Tabernacle, you are reverencing Christ present in the Eucharist. Unconsecrated hosts are never kept in the Tabernacle.
The hosts in the Tabernacle were from a previous Mass and were already consecrated.
Every Church has a light which indicates that Christ is present in the tabernacle. It is the first thing I look for when I walk into the Church to make sure I give Christ the proper respect He deserves.
This is sometime harder in some Churches as they have moved the tabernacle and it might take a little bit of looking around to find it, but if the Church is built according to Vatican II directives it should be in the most prominant place in the Church where Jesus can be given proper reverence.
Since Jesus is the most important and center of our faith, it is unfortunate when sometimes the tabernacle is not prominant or in where He can have highest honor.
Our tabernacle is in a separate room with a solid door, so the tabernacle isn’t visible at all. When I enter the church I just make a bow to the altar, as I believe this to be correct. Can someone confirm or correct me on that?
Yes. Jesus is there. You may notice a candle by the tabernacle. When it is lit the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ is there.
Yes, you are correct. If the tabernacle is not in the sanctuary, then you reverence the altar with a bow.
Thank you for your replies. So…when did the small hosts get consecrated? I mean, on the altar all I see is the large host that the priest holds up, and the chalice, of course. Do the smaller hosts need to be on the altar to be consecrated? When does this happen? [or do I need glasses?]
During a Mass
The hosts are in a ciborium (small bowl). The large host is on the paten and is what the priest holds up during the words of consecration. The hosts in the ciborium are consecrated at the same time as the large host the priest holds up.
I asked the priest why there was no ciborium on the altar at the time of the Consecration, and he said it is because it is a Sunday afternoon Mass and all the hosts have already been consecrated during previous Sunday/Vigil Masses, and are kept in the Tabernacle. We normally attend the Sunday p.m. Mass which is why I never saw any ciborium during the Consecration!
So I have had this question for a long time, when exiting the pew on the way to receive Holy Communion or on the return from, does one genuflect?
I have not been doing it and it seems like no one else does either. But logically if I were to genuflect for the Host kept in the tabernalce, I should do the same when Christ is exposed.
Besides the fact that it would cause a monumental traffic jam, it seems that since you are carrying Christ within your body at that moment, it would not make much sense to genuflect to Christ exposed on the altar or in the priest’s hands.
[/list] Just to clarify a minor point, you do not bow TO the altar but TO the relic contained within the altar showing reverence to the relic. Our priest talked about this very point a few weeks ago.
Because Mass is occruing, genuflections are regulated by the GIRM. The GIRM does not direct the faithful to genuflect when exiting/entering the pew for Holy Communion, so one would not genuflect.