Monday, July 20, 2009

Bishop D'Arcy promulgates norms for Tabernacle placement

Ever enter a sanctuary and find yourself searching for where to genuflect? I remember asking a parishoner of a neighboring parish back on Long Island, where Jesus was, only to be pointed to a plaster statue in a manger. "No, I mean the REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS" I repeated. Why should this be a subject of confusion or controversy?
I am tempted to invent a device akin to the stud finder which carpenters use, callling it the Tabernacle finder. You enter a church push the button and scan round the church till it beeps telling you where they have hidden the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord.
I had this problem in my old parish, until Bishop Murphy set the Tabernacle back in the center of our church. I posted on it here. It was such big news, it was posted on Spirit Daily. Now Bishop D'Arcy has written this wonderful directive for his entire diocese.
Bravo, faithful shepherd of souls!
from the website of the Diocese of Fort Wayne, IN
To Priests, Deacons, Religious,
and to All the Faithful,
The presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is at the center of our faith and of the devotional life of our Catholic people. In recent years, the place of the tabernacle in our churches has become a source of controversy. This should not be. The Eucharist, whether we are referring to its celebration or to the place of reservation, should always be a means of unity and communion, and never of division.The place of the tabernacle in our church should reflect our faith in the real presence of Christ, and should always be guided by church documents. My experience is that our people, with their instinct of faith, have always desired that the tabernacle be central and visible. They find it confusing when the tabernacle in their churches is not visible, and if possible, central.
Because of my responsibility to foster the devotional life of our people, and to keep it sound, I have asked our Office of Worship to prepare norms for the placement and design of the tabernacle in this diocese. These norms were brought before the Presbyteral Council, the Liturgical Commission and the Environment and Arts Committee. Suitable refinements and improvements were prepared.
These norms are promulgated to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on June 14, 2009, the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of the Lord. They will be effective on Aug. 4, 2009, the feast of St. John Mary Vianney, the patron saint of priests, in whose honor the present Year for Priests has been dedicated by the Holy Father Benedict XVI.
I urge all priests to follow these norms carefully and completely, and most importantly — to foster devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Sincerely yours in our Lord,
Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy
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