Tabrenacle placement with regard to church doctrine.
Question from on 04-23-2007:
I have a friend who is very upset with the local diocese because of the placement of the Tabernacle in all the churches here. He thinks that it should be placed in the center of the Sanctuary and anything else is disrespectful and disobedient. I have read and believe otherwise. Could you give me your opinion and how it relates to Vatican ll.
Also, he believes that we should only receive the Body of Christ and the Blood is not right or necessary.
Next. he believes that church music should be in the balcony and anything else is wrong and a distraction. I have always thought that Vatican ll was intended to bring the community closer to the mass and Christ.
He also thinks that anyone who has learned CCD since Vatican ll has been educated incorrectly and they are wrong about their practices and beliefs, including priests! Any answers or direction for reading will be appreciated. Thanks.
Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 05-06-2007:
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal #315 states regarding the location of the tabernacle: "It is preferable that the tabernacle be located, according to the judgment of the diocesan bishop, a. Either in the sanctuary, apart from the altar of celebration, in a form and place more appropriate, not excluding on an old altar no longer used for celebration, b. Or even in some chapel suitable for the faithful's private adoration and prayer and organically connected to the church and readily visible to the Christian faithful."
The reception of Holy Communion under one or both species is permitted in many circumstances. One receives the Lord completely under one species, although the symbolism is fuller when both the Body and Blood of Christ are both received.
I do believe that it is wrong for the musicians to appear to be on stage. They should seem to be part of the assembly. Being in a choir loft is fine, although other arrangements are also fine, depending upon the arrangement of the church.
I would suggest reading the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. It is published as a thin book in English by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (www.usccb.org).