Where's the tabernacle?


Hi All,

I was visiting Rapid City, SD and went into 2 of their 5 Catholic churches and couldn’t find the tabernacle. I did eventually find it in one of the churches off in a separate room by itself and not in a place of prominence as I was always taught it should be.

I did ask the young priest why the tabernacle was off in a separate room and not in the main body of the church. I found his answer to be distressing at least to me. He said that the Vatican thought that the tabernacle was distracting during the consecration of the bread and wine. It was like walking into a protestant church when I didn’t see the tabernacle behind the alter as it is in my church.

I can’t help but think that along with the new mass and removing the tabernacle from the main body of the church the Vatican is trying to Protestantize Catholic churches. Trying to be politically correct maybe?

I would be interested to know if the tabernacle has been removed from the main body of the church in your parishes. I know it was removed from a church I went to in Massachusetts also. What a shame What is the Catholic Church coming to?



I can’t help but think that along with the new mass and removing the tabernacle from the main body of the church the Vatican is trying to Protestantize Catholic churches. Trying to be politically correct maybe?

That’s exactly how I feel. I recently attended an Anglican Church and this looked more ‘Catholic’ than the Catholic Churches.

Some of the new Churches are far from inspiring. I think some Catholic Churches look protestant with no statues, stained glass, high altars etc.

When I was young, I was always taught to genuflect towards the tabernacle before sitting at the pew. The tabernacle was always at the centre of the church for all to see. I went to my nephew’s baptism a few years back and the tabernacle was at the side - I found this unusual.

Modern Catholic Churches are the same as Protestant Churches. I think that they have lost much of the sacredness and holiness as a result.


I have also seen this south of Madison, WI. Of course here the tabernacle was in a separate prayer room, so prayers can be going on even during mass time.

Also before the Cathedral was remodeled, their tabernacle was in a open side room as 24/7 adoration was going on there, even during mass times.


I’ve never been to a Catholic Church that had a seperate room for Adoration, however, I think that would be nice…

But to put the Tabernacle off to the side or in a box…kinda sounds Anglician, Episcopal churchy to me. Or to not even have a Tabernacle…just doesn’t sound right.

The one thing that has brought me to the Catholic Church is the reverence of all sacred things, and I now I hear that this is happening…it concerns me.


Uhmm - why can’t a Church have two tabernacles? One for the actual Church so people don’t feel Jesus is put off in the corner and one for the adoration chapel so that people can pray during Mass?



Because the Blessed Sacrament is not allowed to be reserved in two places in the church. Only one tabernacle.


Oh - okay.

So this means that if there are two buildings that Mass is said in (one for English and one for Spanish) as it is at my church the Blessed Sacrament will only be in one church?



The Holy of Holies (The Tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament) must be at the alter and does not ever distract. It is the center of our Church and existence itself…The source and summit of Christian Life…It is our Blessed Lord in the Most August Sacrament of the Alter.
Anyone who speaks otherwise is wrong!
Distracting is:
Talking in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament (like so often happens in churches before and after Mass)…
The priest making himself the “center of attention” while improvising the liturgy…
Handshakes of peace…
Modern music/poor music at Mass (anything that is not chant).

Even in the Jewish Temple the Holy of Holies was at the center in a place of respect. Even the priest did not enter.
Now, the New Covenent/Testament, the veil is “torn down” (protestants confuse this horribly!), and the priest enters the tabenacle of the Most High to administer His Precious Body (and Blood) to Christs people…Truly Christ among us just as it was at the Incarnation and unto Calvary…never again to depart.
I’d say that better be the CENTER of the church…no exceptions.
Any clergy who says otherwise is wrong! The Blessed Sacrament is not only the center of our faith, He IS our faith.

Putting the Blessed Sacrament off to the side is rebellion in the form of “convienience” amongst other excuses. People are putting Christ “off the the side” and “out of sight” because then they can deal better with the guilt of the sin ans sacrelidge that is committed.
That is why in churches with the Blessed Sacrament off to the side or “hidden” there is much liturgical abuse.
Not giving proper dignity to the tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament It is a grave injustice.


Where should we put the tabernacle:


Gosh, I thought I was the only one that thought this…


Are you sure? The majority of the churches I have been to have the tabernacle in the main body of the church, and an adoration chapel is attached, with its own tabernacle.

Not trying to seem snotty or know-it-all :blush:, just sharing my observation and subsequent confusion by your statement! :slight_smile:


Would this be a good Ask the Apologists question? Do you think?


No :smiley:
(And as an aside you didn’t come across as snotty, etc.- I’m pretty sure* I* might come across like a silly know-it-all at some times :o )

I was speaking because of Canon Law; it says:

Can. 938 §1. The Most Holy Eucharist is to be reserved habitually in only one tabernacle of a church or oratory.

But perhaps it is something to do with the architecture, so the rule doesn’t apply?


Hi All,

While in Rapid City, SD I decided to visit 2 of the 5 Catholic Churches they have there. I was horrified to see that the tabernacle was not in a prominent place in the main body of the church. I never did find it in one of the churches but in the second Church the tabernacle is off in a small room by it self.

I asked the priest why this was so and he said that the Vatican thought that having the tabernacle in the main body of the church was distracting to the congregation during the consecration. I thought this was the stupidest thing I ever heard. If I wanted to go to a church where there was no Jesus in the main body of the church I would go to a Protestant one.

Why would the Vatican want to take Jesus out of the main body of the church unless to try and protestantize us?

After pushing the New Mass on us and now taking Jesus out of the main body of the church what will be next?

Ecumenicism where we are forced to recognize heretical religions instead of trying to bring them to the truth?

The Catholic Church should be a leader and not be willing to follow along the lines of Protestantism. We can’t please nor should we try to please everyone.

I am wondering if any of your parishes have removed the tabernacle from the main body of the church for the benefit of the congregation???



This makes sense to me; the chapels I am thinking about are actually used for (very) small weddings/funerals and daily Mass, and are pretty separated from the church proper. But in churches where the adoration chapel is less separate from the main body (in a converted sacristy, for example), there isn’t a second tabernacle… ahh, it’s all coming together now! :slight_smile:


I feel so sheltered. I have attended the Latin Mass since birth, and the Tabernacle is always in the front and displayed prominently.


My DH and I normally attend a Tridentine Mass on Sunday, so the tabernacle is always prominently displayed. However, at our local parish,which is a more modern church building, it is sort of hidden behind a screen. Took me the longest time to find it. I think it is a true loss not to display the tabernacle. That is what makes our churches sacred. Without that, they are just buildings.



Why do you so readily believe that (a) “the Vatican” did in fact “order” churches to remove the tabernacle and (b) that “the Vatican” wants to “protestantize us”.

I think you should do some basic research before you go around making allegations of this nature. Frankly, I find your entire post insulting and ignorant.

Your agenda is showing: “pushing the new mass on us”. As if the Magesterium lacks authority over the liturgy. As if the “old mass” were the first and only mass. As if you knew what you were talking about.

Oh, yes, I’m quite sure that’s next on the agenda posted on the Pope’s refrigerator under his Masonic refrigerator magnet.

The Church is the leader, and does not “follow along the lines of Protestantism”.



One Catholic Church I went to for my 2nd cousin’s baptism had it on the left side of the altar (as you’re facing it). It was a very reverant church - everyone would bow to it as they walk past from the church office, into where the pews were.


Ideally the tabernacle will be in the centre of the sanctuary, so that the people can show it reverence. However if the congregation are not sufficiently catechised or pious to do this, then it is probably better in a side chapel than where there is potential for disrespect.

Note also that our culture has changed since the Middle Ages. Then “private” meant something petty or unimportant. All the great men were public men. Now “private” has connotations of wealth, privilege, and specialness. So to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a quiet side-chapel means something different now to what it did then.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.