What do you do when the tabernacle is missing

I just wanted to put this out there for anyone to respond. The church we usually attend here in Toronto has been newly renovated as of last summer. Unfortunately, the tabernacle has been put into a room for private Eucharistic devotion. Although I have no problem with the practice of Eucharistic Adoration, in fact, I would encourage all parishes to have this available whenever possible, what I am having a problem with is that when I attend Mass, the tabernacle is not visible.

At the time that it was being planned, it was promised that we would at least be able to see it through the glass partition. This did not happen and I know for a fact that many parishioners left the parish due to this. As a result of this, it seems that the Real Presence is absent. We always make a point of visiting the chapel after every Mass to show that we didn’t forget our Lord even if He can’t be within the church proper. Also I’ve noticed that the lack of a visible tabernacle has led to people genuflecting to the altar, the grand piano or not at all. People are talking loudly after Mass in their pews to a point of distraction for those praying their prayers of thanksgiving. I have considered leaving the parish but am involved in the Marriage Preparation course as well as the Knights of Columbus council there. Am I being petty about this? It has been a sore spot for many months. Any suggestions? Pax vobis

Are you petty about this? I don’t think so.

You have every right to be upset about Jesus being “sidelined”;).

Brenda V.

Go here:


Our parish has Euchristic Adoration 24/7. The Euchrist is exposed in a monstrance for this purpose. The tabernacle is still located in the church. If you are not familiar with a monstrance, ours looks almost exactly like this.

Perhaps you could talk to your pastor about you KC council donating one to the church. Then the tabernacle could be moved back into the church.

Greetings everyone,

Thanks for your suggestions and for access to that document from the EWTN website. The monstrance was something I always thought they should do. I know that the monstrance that they use now for Benediction is beautiful. They used to have **Perpetual Adoration **a number of years ago, but our previous pastor was nervous about security. I am hoping that 24 hour Adoration will return, which would obviously solve the problem. Judging by what I’ve heard, our pastor may be working towards this goal but doesn’t want to change things too quickly not to mention how difficult is it to find volunteers to fill the hours necessary. In the meantime, we hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will work on him. Pax vobis

The Tabernacle is NOT the center focus of the Mass, the Consecration is. The Tabernacle should be the center focus when one enters the church only outside of Mass.

Hi Bro. Rich SFO,

Thanks for your response. Of course the centre of the Mass is the Consecration. That is without a doubt the main reason we are at Mass. To receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is the centre of our worship. That is not my concern. The placement of the tabernacle as a visible sign of Christ’s presence in His church is my concern. When I walk into a church I expect to see our Lord somewhere waiting for me. He is left all alone in so many churches as it is since churches have to lock their doors day and night. As I enter I want to acknowledge Him by a genuflection. If He is put off to the side it is as if we don’t really need to have Him there with us. Perhaps this seems a little juvenile or naive to expect this in a so-called “sophistocated” and “forward-thinking” Catholic mindset, but it still doesn’t sit well with me.
Pax Vobis

The whole point of the consecration is Holy Communion, no?
Is that the center of the Mass?

I believe that the documents clearly say that when it is necessary because of heavy tourist traffic, many weddings and funerals that would not be conducive to personal Eucharistic devotion. The Tabernacle can be located in a more quiet location that would be more conducive to personal Eucharistic devotion and prayer.

If I am traveling and have the misfortune of attending church where the tabernacle is not in the church, I go where the tabernacle is. I stay there until the offertory. After I receive communion I leave.

I go to church to visit with Jesus. And I have no respect for a congregation that despises Jesus so much, they don’t even want Him in their church.

During the Mass, He is on the altar.

Where do I begin?

On second thought, it’s too late. Another day.

Then technically I would say that you did not attend Mass and did not satisfy your obligation to attend Mass. If nothing like lack of space or access pervented you from being in the church, it was simply your personal choice not to be. What you describe is personal Eucharistic devotion and reception of Communion.

What do you do when you attend Mass at a Shrine? Granted, I have only been to two, but both had chapels for the tabernacle. Neither had the tabernacle in the main church. So you would not attend Mass there, just receive communion?

The religion I grew up in taught that if you were present during the Offertory, Consecration, and priest’s Communion you heard Mass. It taught that the Offertory, Consecration, and priest’s Communion were the three essential parts of the Mass.

And there was a tabernacle in the church. The religion was called Catholic and was headed by a man called a pope.

I feel sorry for you people you grew up after Vatican II and don’t have a clue what the Catholic Church teaches.

My first parish I attended was like this still is, except they are bound in fear because their tab was stolen at one time.
The tabernacle is in the adoration room as some say that it is not adoration if the monstrance is not there and the host visible any ways even it the tab wa there but closed.so the host has to be visible.

They solved the problem as the chapel was off to the right of the altar and they put in a sliding glass patio type door that can be locked has an exit door also on the other side . so it has two ways to enter and we can see the tab during mass and father walks back and forth to get the hosts etc. It doesnot have a curtain and they have adoration one day a week.
This priest does not kneel or kiss the altar but does bow as most all do about half actually. He at least does this. Maybe this will help.

The parish I am at now they made a place for the tab in the right hand corner oclave not far from the altar but the priest rearanged it all when he came but he genuflects and kisses the altar and sometimes prostratess himself! He has to go to the back to get the hosts and the other servers have to go around, I think they need to take a little barrier out that was put in the begining, but who knows maybe they will. The church building is only 6 years old. Too many windows such a distraction!


Inaestimabile Donum states:

The tabernacle in which the Eucharist is kept can be located on an alter , or away form it, in a s pot in the church which is very prominent, truly noble, and duly decorated, or in a chapel suitable for adoration by the faithful. [ID 24]

The Code of Canon Law:

Canon 938

  1. The Most Holy Eucharist is to be reserved regularly in only one tabernacle of the church or oratory.

  2. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved should be placed in a part of the church that is prominent, conspicuous, beautifully decorated, and suitable for prayer.

That seems to leave some room for debate but a side Chapel hardly sounds prominent.

I’m also not sure if this would effect the licitness of the Mass or not.

We do have many people who attempt to cling to pre-Vatican II practices. One was personal devotions, like the Rosary, instead of paying attention and participating in the Mass. Another was not receiving Holy Communion except a few times a year. That has changed now. The Catholic Church encourages everyone who is not aware of unconfessed mortal sin to receive Holy Communion each week when they attend Mass. To fully participate in the Mass, both the Liturgy of the Word as well as the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

And I feel sorry for you who thinks you can show up after all the prayers, readings and the homily, in other words about 3/5 of the way through mass and yet feel you have satisfied your obligation. You probably feel it is perfectly alright to bolt out of mass as soon as you receive communion too.

I notice that people bow to the priests or the empty altar before concecration, like when everyone gathers for Mass or when someone approaches the altar during the Liturgy of the Word.
I wonder - to whom are they bowing?

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