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A Chapel in the Home

In the past great homes had Chapels in them including a Tabernacle. What are the requirements for this today? Is it even permissable anymore? I would think that for this to be allowed a Priest would have to be assigned to the Chapel and it would need to be available to all people. I am sure this is not a common question but a friend had said she wanted this in her home. I think that we would all love to have Jesus present in this way but I don't think that we are intitled to worship Him in The Blessed Sacrament in the complete privacy of our own homes. Thank you for your time, JoAnn

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 11/7/2008:

Canon 934 gives a complete list of those places where it is permitted to have a tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament reserved: "§1. The Most Holy Eucharist: 1/ must be reserved in the cathedral church or its equivalent, in every parish church, and in a church or oratory connected to the house of a religious institute or society of apostolic life; 2/ can be reserved in the chapel of the bishop and, with the permission of the local ordinary, in other churches, oratories, and chapels. §2. In sacred places where the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved, there must always be someone responsible for it and, insofar as possible, a priest is to celebrate Mass there at least twice a month."

The desire to keep the Blessed Sacrament in a private home reflects a complete misunderstanding of the communal nature of the Church and of the Most Holy Eucharist. It is not something that is meant to be a matter of private devotion. The Blessed Sacrament is meant to be reserved to be available to the public for worship. It is also meant to be reserved only in sacred places, which private homes are not. Furthermore, it is meant to be reserved in a place where Mass is ordinarily celebrated, showing the connection between celebration of the Eucharist and the reservation of the Eucharist.

Your instincts are correct in knowing that there is something wrong with this.

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1 comment:

  1. The way I read that, it seems that if there is a chapel or oratory, the Blessed Sacrament may be reserved there with the permission of the Ordinary. If therefore the home in question has a separate properly accoutered chapel; the only thing missing is the aforementioned permission.