Tabernacle Placement?

The closest Church to my home has the Tabernacle in a far back corner, in it’s own room, with a “sanctuary lamp” outside the door.

So when I go in, I should bow to the Alter, then turn to the back corner and genuflect, and the sanctuary lamp is not in the sanctuary?

Why in the world is it like this? It’s a newer building (less than 20 years old?). Has anyone been a part of undoing something like this and putting the Tabernacle where it belongs - front and center!

It’s so disjointed it’s hard to teach kids, and if Jesus walked in to the Church I would seat Him front and center, not in the back closet.

Bowing to the altar is appropriate. You don’t need to genuflect when the tabernacle is in a different location.

There are many reasons for placing a tabernacle in a separate chapel and it’s been done for ages, depending on the church, location, needs of the parish, etc.

I believe in the situation describes, the tabernacle (containing the consecrated host) remains the center of attention and you should genuflect towards that location. In ours, the altar sits directly in front of the tabernacle.

Why not discuss with the priest why it’s arranged like that…sounds like moving the tabernacle or the altar would be an easy fix.

For less than 1% of churches, there may be a reason. St. Peter’s in Rome has a constant flow of tourists taking pictures and exploring the specific art and architecture of the main altar. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Adoration chapel which is still very much part of the church itself. That particular church, and few others, is so large that the normal rules of making the Blessed Sacrament prominent, or the center of orientation, do not apply.

In one church downtown, they have adoration many hours a day (except when there is Mass). The Blessed Sacrament is reserved at a prominent side altar to the left of the main altar, but still in the front. This way people praying in adoration are much closer to the Blessed Sacrament than if it were in the middle, main original altar which is some distance back from the congregation. But the prayerful orientation in that Church is always to the front. There** is **a front.

Catholic churches in “the West” have historically been oriented towards “the East”, longing for Christ’s return. Of course, in many cases the building has been shaped by the realities of the real estate available, so “the East” does not have to be literal. But there should be a “front” to the church. The crucifix, the altar, and the Blessed Sacrament should be visible in the same glance. They are related! I am willing to bet your church keeps the bible in a prominent position, not in a back closet. That’s appropriate, but you might want to ask why appropriate…

When the Blessed Sacrament and the crucifix are removed, the center of attention becomes the priest, the choir, and other things. Sometimes bad architecture lingers because no one takes the initiative to talk to other people about a change.

In 1978 a document by a committee of bishops, “Art and Environment in Catholic Worship” helped influence the design or redesign of buildings, like your church. But that document was totally superseded by a 2000 document, “Built on Living Stones” which is now the authoritative guide. But many churches are still influenced by the outdated document.

Does this Church happen to be located in Irving, TX and be named Holy Family of Nazareth?

I think CAF would prefer not to mention any particular parish by name, in this kind of context. I am not sure if that is specified as a rule for this sub forum, but it is mentioned in others.

Sorry for the mis-spell - thanks for the correction:thumbsup:.

You’re right. My apologies!

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