Location of Tabernacle


#1

This has been really bothering me lately and I wanted some other opinions on this matter.

I go to an orthodox, traditional Catholic Church. I went to RCIA there and I love my parish.
As per tradition I alway genuflect towards the alter before sitting down and leaving the pew. Their Tabernacle is located right behind the alter...you know exactly where it is...I go to traditional Latin Mass and our Monsgr says Mass towards the Tabernacle.

I'm also in the Air national guard and I have drill one weekend a month. This means it's impossible for me to attend Mass at my Church. I go to another local Church that has a 7pm Mass on Sundays.
This Church is far more liberal and it was recently rebuilt. It took me some time to notice that the alter just looked weird to me. I couldn't put my finger on it at first. Then I realized that Tabernacle was located way, way off to the left of the alter...almost totally out of view. There are a great many other things about this Mass that bother me...but the fact that our Lord has been moved to the side...confused me greatly.

I still go to that Mass at that Church. But it happened again recently. My Grandmother passed away a few weeks ago and we had her funeral Mass at her parish. While this is another very old church...the inside had been totally redone.
I had my daughter with me and was distracted by her fussing when I arrived at the pew. I genuflected quickly and attended to her. I was also supposed to do the first reading.
When it was time to go up and read...I genuflected again and then got a good look at the alter and realized there was no Tabernacle and I was crestfallen. I'd essentially committed idolatry in front of the entire Mass.
I did my reading and hightailed it back to the pew and started looking around for the tabernacle...and again...found it way off to the right of the Church.

Is anyone else in this same situation with their churches? Do you genuflect at all? Does it bother you that our Lord isn't front and center of the Church?
Should I say something and email the Bishop?


#2

My parish is Novus Ordo, but the tabernacle is located behind the altar as is common. I, too, would be upset if I had seen that the tabernacle had been moved off to the side — is Jesus not the center of the celebration of Mass, which we should be focused on? I can see your objections to their moving of the tabernacle, and I agree with them.

I am not sure if you should speak to your Bishop, as I have never been in a situation where I have had to speak to mine, but others will have more knowledge on that than I.


#3

Here is what you need to know about the placement of the Tabernacle.

In part-

Consequently, it is preferable that the tabernacle be located, according to the judgment of the Diocesan Bishop:

a) either in the sanctuary, apart from the altar of celebration, in a appropriate form and place, not excluding its being positioned on an old altar no longer used for celebration (cf. no. 303);

b) or even in some chapel suitable for the private adoration and prayer of the faithful[128] and organically connected to the church and readily noticeable by the Christian faithful.


#4

I agree with you that the tabernacle is best placed at the center of the altar, to emphasize the centrality of the Eucharist. Several of our local parishes, however, have it at the right side of the altar, with statues of the Holy Family or Mary at the left side. You still genuflect toward the front of the Church.


#5

[quote="Kelfa28, post:1, topic:314628"]
This has been really bothering me lately and I wanted some other opinions on this matter.

I go to an orthodox, traditional Catholic Church. I went to RCIA there and I love my parish.
As per tradition I alway genuflect towards the alter before sitting down and leaving the pew. Their Tabernacle is located right behind the alter...you know exactly where it is...I go to traditional Latin Mass and our Monsgr says Mass towards the Tabernacle.

I'm also in the Air national guard and I have drill one weekend a month. This means it's impossible for me to attend Mass at my Church. I go to another local Church that has a 7pm Mass on Sundays.
This Church is far more liberal and it was recently rebuilt. It took me some time to notice that the alter just looked weird to me. I couldn't put my finger on it at first. Then I realized that Tabernacle was located way, way off to the left of the alter...almost totally out of view. There are a great many other things about this Mass that bother me...but the fact that our Lord has been moved to the side...confused me greatly.

I still go to that Mass at that Church. But it happened again recently. My Grandmother passed away a few weeks ago and we had her funeral Mass at her parish. While this is another very old church...the inside had been totally redone.
I had my daughter with me and was distracted by her fussing when I arrived at the pew. I genuflected quickly and attended to her. I was also supposed to do the first reading.
When it was time to go up and read...I genuflected again and then got a good look at the alter and realized there was no Tabernacle and I was crestfallen. I'd essentially committed idolatry in front of the entire Mass.
I did my reading and hightailed it back to the pew and started looking around for the tabernacle...and again...found it way off to the right of the Church.

Is anyone else in this same situation with their churches? Do you genuflect at all? Does it bother you that our Lord isn't front and center of the Church?
Should I say something and email the Bishop?

[/quote]

Though I agree that it's preferable to have the tabernacle located in it's more traditional location, for various reasons (some good, some bad) that's not always the case. At the chapel where my family and I worship the tabernacle isn't even located in the same room as the alter, and it must be that way because it's a miltary chapel.

But in any event, you didn't commit idolatry by genuflecting - since the act of genuflecting isn't worship.

Pax,
OA


#6

A genuflection (bending of the knee) on the right knee is customarily made to Our Lord present sacramentally in the tabernacle and to the Cross (or crucifix) by the faithful on Good Friday.

In the EF Mass when the blessed sacrament is not present on the altar the celebrant bows while all other ministers genuflect at the center to the cross.

A genuflection on the left knee is ordinarily made towards one's bishop and the pope before kissing their rings.


#7

There is a Carmelite Monastery here at my place where I live and the tabernacle of their chapel is located facing towards the nuns, not the people.. When the Priest are facing towards the people, the tabernacle is at his left hand-side, when the Priest is distributing the Eucharist to the nuns, the tabernacle is behind him. But for me it isn't a problem because I felt peace and reverence during every Mass I went.. And it was Novus Ordo mass :) :)

Both Masses are good for me, as long as there are no liturgical abuses.


#8

When I arrived in our parish 20 years ago, the tabernacle was on a side altar - our Lady’s chapel. In 2000 we had a poll to find out what we would like for our church as a “millenium gift”. The overwhelming winner was to have a new tabernacle placed on the high altar. The tabernacle on our Lady’s altar is now used as the altar of repose on Maundy Thursday night.


#9

[quote="Saintlucy, post:8, topic:314628"]
When I arrived in our parish 20 years ago, the tabernacle was on a side altar - our Lady's chapel. In 2000 we had a poll to find out what we would like for our church as a "millenium gift". The overwhelming winner was to have a new tabernacle placed on the high altar. The tabernacle on our Lady's altar is now used as the altar of repose on Maundy Thursday night.

[/quote]

its goo to here that your parish is putting it back where it should be. Pope Pius XII was aimed at an influential faction within the hitherto papally approved liturgical movement. Pope Pius did not hesitate to denounce in the strongest possible terms certain theories and practices promoted by this faction: "false, dangerous, pernicious, a wicked movement, a false doctrine that distorts the Catholic notion of faith itself." One of the pernicious theses it promoted was that the impact of the Sacrifice of the Mass was lessened if Our Lord were already present in a tabernacle upon the altar. But in an address to a liturgical congress in Assisi in 1956, this great Pope warned that their true motivation was to lessen esteem "for the presence and action of Christ in the tabernacle." He insisted, correctly, that "To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and nature should remain united." If this was true in 1956, it is still true today. It is to be regretted that one of the post-conciliar documents has actually suggested that "it is more in keeping with the nature of the celebration" not to have the Blessed Sacrament reserved on the altar from the beginning of Mass. [Eucharisticum Mysterium, Instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Rites on the Eucharistic Mystery, May 25, 1967, par. 55.]

There is not one word requiring the demoting of the tabernacle in any document of the Second Vatican Council. The tabernacle is referred to in a passage of Article 128 which says that ecclesiastical laws governing liturgical externals should be revised as soon as possible, in accord with the revised liturgy. Such laws were to be amended, abolished, retained, or introduced if lacking. These laws included those relating to "the nobility, placing, and security of the Eucharistic tabernacle."

: In nomine Patris, + et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
Introibo ad altare Dei. R: Ad deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.


closed #10

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