Is opening the tabernacle a mortal sin?


#1

Today I was helping at my parish. We had to set up a small adoration chapel in our 2nd grade room.

Well at the end of the day, I decided I wanted to go and pray. No one was in the room so I decided to pray close to the Blessed Sacrament. I opened the tabernacle(the key was in it), didn't touch the ciboria, other to turn it straight.

I prayed in front of it.

Did I commit a mortal sin?
I didn't know it was a mortal sin or a sin at all, until I started thinking about it.

Thanks.


#2

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:290132"]
Today I was helping at my parish. We had to set up a small adoration chapel in our 2nd grade room.

Well at the end of the day, I decided I wanted to go and pray. No one was in the room so I decided to pray close to the Blessed Sacrament. I opened the tabernacle(the key was in it), didn't touch the ciboria, other to turn it straight.

I prayed in front of it.

Did I commit a mortal sin?
I didn't know it was a mortal sin or a sin at all, until I started thinking about it.

Thanks.

[/quote]

Someone else could better qualify whether or not this was 'okay.' But I'm pretty sure everyone will agree that, especially in this case, it CAN'T be a mortal sin because, as you said, you 'didn't know.' If you don't know something to be sinful, then you didn't really commit a sin at all.


#3

i have no idea whether what you did was any kind of sin; what I would like to know is why a Tabernacle was being left alone, with the key in it, in a Grade 2 classroom.

It’s good that you were there to guard it. I have no idea what to think about opening it, or turning the ciborium.


#4

Hmm. If our seminarian can open it up to disperce communion, why couldn’t I open it up JUST to pray close to Jesus. :slight_smile:

My intention would NEVER be to do anything disresoectful.

Also like I stated, I didn’t know it could be a mortal sin.


#5

What makes you think it might be a mortal sin?

(I am genuinely curious - I have no idea whether lay people are allowed to touch the tabernacle at all.)


#6

Maybe its a liturgical issue. What’s your opinion?


#7

I don't believe it was a mortal sin. Firstly, you're asking this question and wondering if it was a sin AFTER you did it. One of the things about mortal sin, is knowing beforehand. Secondly, your intent was a good one - you were simply looking to be closer to the Lord and pray. Your heart was in the right place, in my opinion. I would bring it up during confession and speak with the priest about it to be on the safe side.

God Bless


#8

As to prayer before the Tabernacle: Is a confession any more valid if you remove the screen and face the Priest?

As to what occurred, please ask your priest. Normally exposition and reposition are duties of the Priest or Deacon. Opening the Tabernacle "might" have constituted a form of exposition.


#9

I'd say not a mortal sin.

On the other hand, nobody should be opening the tabernacle outside of actually needing to: getting/putting back ciborium during Mass, getting hosts for the sick/homebound/etc, getting/putting back the lumina (or whatever it's called) for adoration, and priests/sacristans checking to see how full the ciborium is (so they know how many unconsecrated ones to add for Mass).

The tabernacle shouldn't never be open for adoration or really for any extended period of time.


#10

Why would Jesus be more present with the door open versus closed, given that all the vessels remained covered and the Host not exposed?


#11

[quote="JD27076, post:6, topic:290132"]
Maybe its a liturgical issue. What's your opinion?

[/quote]

Did someone say something to you that made you think you did something wrong?

In my case, it wouldn't occur to me to touch the Tabernacle at all, unless a priest directly asked me to for some reason.


#12

[quote="Tarpeian_Rock, post:10, topic:290132"]
Why would Jesus be more present with the door open versus closed, given that all the vessels remained covered and the Host not exposed?

[/quote]

I did not open the ciboria lid to expose the Host. Just the tabernacle door.

And I didn't open it because I wanted to act special or because I could. I just wanted to pray closer to Jesus, not bad intentions.

And until today, I had no idea it would be BAD to open it. I knew I shouldn't, but I had no idea it had the possibility of a mortal sin.

I don't think It was a mortal sin, since I didn't have full knowledge, but I will either ask my favorite internet priest or my retired priest since my regular pastor priest is on vacation. :)


#13

[quote="JD27076, post:4, topic:290132"]
Hmm. If our seminarian can open it up to disperse communion, why couldn't I open it up JUST to pray close to Jesus. :)

My intention would NEVER be to do anything disrespectful.

Also like I stated, I didn't know it could be a mortal sin.

[/quote]

Well...(respectfully) it is not about you or your feelings or intentions...or mine. It is about the what the Church and the bishop of your local Church prescribes as appropriate and what is not appropriate...its that simple...feelings/intentions aside.

To protect and guard the Blessed Sacrament is dutifully noble...to be with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is sacrificial charity at the best...but I would caution against doing something based on "feelings" or "personal desires"...or that you are unsure about the action...unless it really is an emergency/necessary action. Also, reaching into the tabernacle to straighten the ciborium

I] [didn't touch the ciboria, other to turn it straight]

is...well a bit much...don't you think?

Can. 943 The minister of exposition of the blessed Sacrament and of the eucharistic blessing is a priest or deacon. In** special circumstances** the minister of exposition and deposition alone, but without the blessing,** is an acolyte, and extraordinary minister of holy communion, or another person deputed by the local Ordinary,** in accordance with the regulations of the diocesan Bishop.
intratext.com/IXT/ENG0017/_P3B.HTM

So exposing the Blessed Sacrament while in the Tabernacle...is not permissible unless one is deputed to do so...

Mortal sin...I strongly doubt it; a serious mistake...yes, for sure....IMHO (and according to Canon Law).

We live and learn...welcome to the club.

Pax Christi


#14

[quote="JD27076, post:12, topic:290132"]

And until today, I had no idea it would be BAD to open it.

[/quote]

What happened today that made you think it would be BAD to open it? Whereas before, you thought it was okay to do so. I am still trying to find the source of the question.

I knew I shouldn't, but I had no idea it had the possibility of a mortal sin.

Who told you it was a mortal sin? (Or might be a mortal sin?)

I don't think It was a mortal sin, since I didn't have full knowledge, but I will either ask my favorite internet priest or my retired priest since my regular pastor priest is on vacation. :)

I'm still not certain whether you did anything wrong at all.

I am still wondering what a Tabernacle was doing in a Grade 2 classroom, unattended and with the key in it. A child could have interfered with it. I think it's a good thing you were there.


#15

[quote="Lancer, post:13, topic:290132"]
Well...(respectfully) it is not about you or your feelings or intentions...or mine. It is about the what the Church and the bishop of your local Church prescribes as appropriate and what is not appropriate...its that simple...feelings/intentions aside.

To protect and guard the Blessed Sacrament is dutifully noble...to be with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is sacrificial charity at the best...but I would caution against doing something based on "feelings" or "personal desires"...or that you are unsure about the action...unless it really is an emergency/necessary action. Also, reaching into the tabernacle to straighten the ciborium is...well a bit much...don't you think?

So exposing the Blessed Sacrament while in the Tabernacle...is not permissible unless one is deputed to do so...

Mortal sin...I strongly doubt it; a serious mistake...yes, for sure....IMHO (and according to Canon Law).

We live and learn...welcome to the club.

Pax Christi

[/quote]

It was a HUGE Mistake. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER Do it again! Unless authorized by a clergy member.

I'm glad it wasn't a Mortal sin. I talked to a priest in another parish over the phone about what happened, he said I shouldn't do it again and I had good intentions. I didn't steal the key, it was already in there. soo...

But don't worry, I have done wrong and learned not to do it again. NEVER will I do it again.


#16

[quote="curlycool89, post:9, topic:290132"]
I'd say not a mortal sin.

On the other hand, nobody should be opening the tabernacle outside of actually needing to: getting/putting back ciborium during Mass, getting hosts for the sick/homebound/etc, getting/putting back the lumina (or whatever it's called) for adoration, and priests/sacristans checking to see how full the ciborium is (so they know how many unconsecrated ones to add for Mass).

The tabernacle shouldn't never be open for adoration or really for any extended period of time.

[/quote]

"Shouldn't never" ? That means "should". Don't they require English in Engineering ? Why should it never be left open, if the host is placed in the monstrance for adoration ? Maybe we should read the Catechism, and look at the three requirements for Mortal Sin, so we can get back to discussing important things, like "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin".


#17

[quote="Jason_Firestone, post:16, topic:290132"]
"Shouldn't never" ? That means "should". Don't they require English in Engineering ? Why should it never be left open, if the host is placed in the monstrance for adoration ? Maybe we should read the Catechism, and look at the three requirements for Mortal Sin, so we can get back to discussing important things, like "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin".

[/quote]

I already know that one - as many as want to - angels do not have mass. (They do come to Mass, though ... ) :D


#18

[quote="JD27076, post:15, topic:290132"]
It was a HUGE Mistake. I will NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER Do it again! Unless authorized by a clergy member.

I'm glad it wasn't a Mortal sin. I talked to a priest in another parish over the phone about what happened, he said I shouldn't do it again and I had good intentions. I didn't steal the key, it was already in there. soo...

But don't worry, I have done wrong and learned not to do it again. NEVER will I do it again.

[/quote]

You know the requirements for committing a mortal sin, right? If you must ask afterward if it was mortal, then you did not know at the time. And, this is assuming that it actually was a mortal sin. If Father told you not to open the Tabernacle and you did it out of spite, well...


#19

[quote="JD27076, post:1, topic:290132"]
Today I was helping at my parish. We had to set up a small adoration chapel in our 2nd grade room.

Well at the end of the day, I decided I wanted to go and pray. No one was in the room so I decided to pray close to the Blessed Sacrament. I opened the tabernacle(the key was in it), didn't touch the ciboria, other to turn it straight.

I prayed in front of it.

Did I commit a mortal sin?
I didn't know it was a mortal sin or a sin at all, until I started thinking about it.

Thanks.

[/quote]

No sin. You are a bit crazy but no harm....


#20

I know our perpetual adoration chapel has a large sign clearly indicating that only a Priest is permitted to re-open the tabernacle and expose the blessed Sacrament. I know it's a mortal sin to leave the blessed sacrament unattended.


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