Monday, April 14, 2008

Our tabernacle is now front and center of St. John's Church!

Here is what parishioners saw upon entering our church. Many came 30 minutes early, wanting to get strategically placed seats, myself included. I needed quick getaway for my restless daughter as well as a good angle for photos. I saw Patrick Archbold on the other side of the altar, so I recommend his blog for another perspective. (I've just been to Creative Minority Report, and his photos are far better than mine).
The atmosphere was charged, yet hushed as the parishioners awaited Bishop Murphy on the day he was to re-consecrate our lovely tabernacle in this new location in the center of our church. Our former pastor, Monsignor McDonald, who built this church in 1999, was not permitted to place the tabernacle in the center of the church as he wished, by diocesan liturgists(this was before Bishop Murhpy's time) so he built a magnificent chapel for Jesus on the side, where the tabernacle would still be visible to the faithful, and made a point of genuflecting towards it whenever he processed in for Mass.
Today, the tabernacle was in place, awaiting Our Holy Saviour, and the entire church seemed breathless in anticipation.
Bishop Murphy processed into the Church with the entire priestly coterie of St. John's Pastor Joe Coscignano, Pastor Emeretis, Fr. Corcoran, Fr. Tom, and our deacons. Bishop Murhpy, in his homily quoted Pope John Paul II who said, "in God's world, there is no coincidence, only the Divine Plan". Bishop Murphy reminded us of the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict, and his visit on Good Shepherd Sunday. He said he hoped that we would place Christ at the center of our lives as He is in the center of our church, and accept His call to follow Him to eternal happiness.
After communion, the choir sang, "Pange lingua, gloriosi" as the Bishop holding the Blessed Sacrament in the ciborium wrapped in the humeral veil, accompanied by the priests and deacons, processed around the church, with the scent of incense wafting through the air. It was an emotionally powerful moment as the tabernacle received Our Lord, and the bishop knelt in prayer for our parish.
Parishioners responded with the powerful "The Strife is O'er, Alleluia" by Palestrina, and rose, to great their shepherd who has restored Our Lord to His rightful place at the center of our parish church. As you can see, despite a bit too much chatter in the sanctuary after mass (ingoring the new signs reminding us to be silent) the day was perfect!
I invited friends to witness this event, and we met the bishop in the auditorium afterwards to thank him for being a good shepherd.
We anticipate the next church whose tabernacle will be replaced. Ask your pastor, and pray that this blessing may come to your parish.

13 comments:

NY Catholic Mom said...

Very nice post, Leticia! Loved the pictures.

Anonymous said...

This brought a tear to the eye!
our taberbnacle is still in a very sparse side chapel.
I pray it will be returned to the " centre" of our parish life soon.
(Then maybe the kids will get to know God is actually there.)
Your story gives me hope. thanks.

Anonymous said...

and may the rest of our Catholic churches do the same and put Christ exactly where He is supposed to be

Jean Szumega said...

Praise the Lord, O my soul, praise Him! I pray for more churches and cathedrals to follow suit!
Just to let you all know, it would be great to get this story more publicity. Thanks and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the joy felt by all in attendance. Even through cyberspace, it was palpable.
Please, capitalize Mass when you mean Jesus' One, Perfect, and Eternal Sacrifice made present on the altar through the action of the sacred liturgy. Thanks.

Leticia said...

Done. I usually do, sorry for the slip, thanks for reminding me.

magdalene said...

I am happy to read of this. Our glass tabernacle is off the side and no one, essentially, genuflects to it. But then our pastor does not ever genuflect-not even at the consecration...

We tried to get the tabernacle moved back under a former pastor but it did not get done. It will not under this tenure either, barring a miracle. Our Lord is NOT front and center in our church.

Anonymous said...

The situation is so bad in our small Church it is incredibly heart breaking. There are two rows of five or six chairs for the many altar 'readers/altar servers/extraordinary ministers’ immediately to its side with numerous passing to and fro usually without genuflections. (This ‘to-and- fro-ing frequently becomes many dialogues immediately after or outside of Holy Mass.) The place formerly occupied by the tabernacle has become the space of the ‘presidential’ assembly etc. I shudder at the magnitude of the offense we as a parish are committing. How can I, a very weak aged newcomer who won't "sign up" as a parishioner because of this situation make reparation?

Kathleen said...

Praise God that in the Diocese of Birmingham, AL. our last Bishop, David Foley had all tabernacles placed back in the center of our Our Most Precious Lord's homes. I remember all those years when devout Catholics here prayed and fasted that our liberal bishop of the time would see God's light (that was before Biship Foley). Praise Him for all of our faithful, devout bishops who do know Truth and are standing up for Truth. I will be praying that all parishes will have Our Lord and Savior restored to His rightful place - the center of our churches and our hearts.

Lucia said...

Praise the Lord...it's about time! All churches should follow suit. Some things to also consider bringing back: go back to receiving communion by the tongue and kneeling when receiving, women go back to wearing the veil, and people go back to wearing modest attire (no low cut, spaghetti straps, mini skirts, shorts, t-shirts, no pierced tongues or any part of the body, etc.) Show respect to our Lord; afterall, this is His House and we should show respect and honor due HIM. One last thing, choirs should do away with the drums, trumpets, guitars and start singing SOLEMN songs!

kathy d. said...

Yes Lucia and Kathleen ! PLease let all Tabernacles be placed in the center -not set in some obscure place at the side of the church.... change for the sake of change is never good.

Anonymous said...

Lucia, i just remarked to my own family ,what an absolute disgrace it is the way some come into the Church,as modesty demands much more,even at the street level. I have only heard the priest remark about Catholic standards for decency in dress ONE time in my adult life,therefore my kids also only heard this ONCE in their life.
I likened this to how these same people wouldn't go out to a party this way,or even to a relative's home for dinner dressed so sloppily,so WHY would you enter God's House for Mass dressed so carelessly ? Also,if you have Baptist even nondenominational friends etc.--look at how they dress to go to their services.
Even the ChristianOrthodox have a nun or another woman posted at the entry to their Church and will deny entry to anyone foolish enough to think they can participate in their "Liturgy" inappropriately dressed.
YES,God does care how you dress and present yourselves at all times,modestly and decently both male and female.
_______
anyway,what a beautiful time must have been had by all in attendance as the Blessed Sacrament Tabernacle was restored to THE place of Honour,the main focus of our lives.
When our Churches are restored,dignity and decency will follow.

Roman said...

In the near future, Our beautiful Blessed Mother will live up to Her title as the One who vanquishes all heresies by restoring the True Sacrifice of the Cross, the Traditional Latin Mass, to all of our Catholic Sanctuaries.

There won't be any more tables in front of Traditional Altars, or Traditional Altars turned into tables.

This will occur as the third part of the Secret of Fatima continues to unfold, and as the Medjugorje Secrets begin.

The Tabernacle upon the Altar of Sacred Tradition is the THRONE OF GOD AND OF THE LAMB in the world, and is mystically bonded to the THRONE OF GOD in Heaven.
This is illustrated in the Great Trinitarian Theophany of June 13, 1929.