Tabernacle Veil


#1

Fellow forum members,

Our newly-appointed pastor recently made the decision to remove the veil from the tabernacle which is used to house the Blessed Sacrament. His reasoning for doing so was that “it is no longer a requirement, and it hinders access to the Blessed Sacrament.” This is only one of the numerous changed he has implemented in his short time here.

Can anyone tell me if current liturgical law allow for, or requires, the use of a tabernacle veil?

My answer would be in the affirmative. *

Eucharisticum Mysterium* (no. 57) states that

Care should be taken that the presence of the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle is indicated to the faithful by a tabernacle veil or some other suitable means prescribed by the competent authority.

Inaestimabile Donum (no. 25), states (almost verbatim) that

The presence of the Eucharist is to be indicated by a tabernacle veil or some other suitable means laid down by the competent authority, and a lamp must purpetually burn before it, as a sign of honor paid to the Lord.

Neither of these documents has been abrogated, and nothing in the current Code of Canon Law (promulgated after both of these documents were published) states anything to the contrary.

To my knowledge, the “competent authority” (which I’m assuming to be the bishops’ conference) has never come up with “some other suitable means” that has been approved by a 2/3 vote of the plenary session of bishops and received the required *recognitio *from Rome (which is the requirement to make particular law in the United States).

Thanks in advance for any help!

  • muledog

#2

In plain language your newly-appointed pastor sounds like a yet another individual who places his own whims ahead of the Church. Rest assured he has a special agenda at work…

I suppose I could (sort of) understand a situation where the tabernacle veil has been missing for years and no one has the gumption to replace it.

However to actually remove the veil given then reason he gave is truly nasty…

(And yes, the documents you cited are still quite valid.)


#3

You don’t have a problem here, and if you act like there is a problem, you’ll only get a reputation as a crank.
The tabernacle is pretty obviously a tabernacle, isn’t it ? By its shape and position and material and lamp , you wouldn’t mistake it for much else, would you ? You wouldn’t mistake something else for the tabernacle either would you ? So all is as it should be; you don’t need a cloth.
The pastor was entrusted with the care of your soul ( as well as the local church and its attendant facilities); you weren’t entrusted with the care of his soul.
So be nice to the guy, compliment him as often as you can and be grateful you have him around.( 27% of parishes don’t have their own priests acccording to Catholic Extention)


#4

Both your citations state in plain laguage that the veil is not necessary.


#5

[quote=Timidity]Both your citations state in plain laguage that the veil is not necessary.
[/quote]

The documents cited stated that if you don’t have A, then you must have B. Since B was never made law, then A would still be in force.

Is the veil necessary for the valid (or licit) celebration of the Mass? Of course not! That is not the issue here.

[quote=roemer]]So be the nice guy, compliment him as often as you can, and be grateful you have him around.
[/quote]

I’m supposed to be grateful for a priest who comes into our parish and destroys its liturgical life??? This is only one instance of our new priest coming in and causing utter havoc with our community.

Mass attendance has declined dramatically, and people are moving in droves to other local parishes.

In Manibus Dei,

  • muledog

#6

Our tabernacle is embedded (recessed) in the church wall. It has these inner and outer doors that open with the turn of a key at the base in the front. There is no cloth veil over it (there never has been), but you can always tell on Good Friday that it is empty because the two sets of doors are left open that day and you can see that it empty. Otherwise the two sets of doors are kept closed, and thus it is not empty. The red light also tells the story.


#7

Hey muley, this priest brings you Jesus in the Eucharist and you are bitching about a veil.
He brings Jesus to the table, what do you bring ? Be grateful for what you got; plenty others don’t have it.


#8

[quote=roemer]Hey muley, this priest brings you Jesus in the Eucharist and you are bitching about a veil.
He brings Jesus to the table, what do you bring ? Be grateful for what you got; plenty others don’t have it.
[/quote]

I get it now. A priest can do anything he wants, but as long as he’s there a couple of days each weak to celebrate Mass, everything’s fine. Analogous to “hey, it’s okay if I beat my wife, just as long as I bring home the bacon and support the children.” Whatever.

The Eucharist is supposed to be a sign of UNITY. Obviously, if the priest is hindering this (and in a major way) then the whole concept of “communion” is out the window.

  • muledog

#9

Perhaps the language of “some other suitable means” needs to be explored. Since there is language in the Code that allows for varience, it is not mandatory that the veil be there; the question is how “other suitable means” is applied.

As to competent authority, I would suspect that this would be an issue that the bishop would have authority, as that is usually, although not always, who the “competent authority” is; it could also include someone else in the diocese under certain circumstances. Don’t make the assumption that it has to be decided by a group of bishops.

If people are leaving in “droves”, I suspect that the matter is not a veil, or no veil, or “other suitable means”. Most people wouldn’t even know the veil is required; and many would not particularly notice that the veil was gone, depending on the material, or thier focus.


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