Is the placement of the Tabernacle a discipline of the Church? Does anyone know of any documents that pertain to this? Thanks.
You might want to look at Sancrosanctum Concilium the Constitution on the Liturgy from VatII.
I think though that you could see a foundation and a precedent set in the Old Testament. In the case of the Tabernacle, Moses was given detailed instructions. It was patterned after Heaven itself. The equivolent to our tabernacle was the holy of holies.In it was the ark where God manifested His presence.
The Holy of Holies was situated directly behind the Holy Place(like our sanctuary) and ultimately in line with the altar of sacrifice.If this is how Heaven was then…then I don’t see why we should be changing things around now.
I understand. But what I want to know if there is a document that actually says that the placement of the tabernacle is a discipline of the Church.
Can. 938 §1 The blessed Eucharist is to be reserved habitually in only one tabernacle of a church or oratory.
§2 The tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is reserved should be sited in a distinguished place in the church or oratory, a place which is conspicuous, suitably adorned and conducive to prayer.
§3 The tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is habitually reserved is to be immovable, made of solid and non-transparent material, and so locked as to give the greatest security against any danger of profanation.
§4 For a grave reason, especially at night, it is permitted to reserve the blessed Eucharist in some other safer place, provided it is fitting.
§5 The person in charge of a church or oratory is to see to it that the key of the tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is reserved, is in maximum safe keeping.
But does all this make it a discipline?
Related thread (never mind the title):
National Catholic Reporter and the Liturgy/churches
I would seem to me that the placement of the tabernacle is more of a changeable tradition than something “set in stone” (though Franciscan made a very good and strong point about what the
Old Testament says). A discipline is something that can change (eg. having married priests instead of celibate priests). According to Vatican II, it would seem to me that cirtain criteria are what guide the placement of the tabernacle (eg. what the local bishop
says, and as long as it is placed somewhere conspicuous (among other criteria)). As Franciscan suggested, you should read Sancrosanctum Concilium (which is one of the 16 Vatican II
documents); and you can also goto www.adoremus.org for more info.