What do these two images have in common? Why of course they are both tabernacles or perhaps more sarcastically tackynackles. Though I guess Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament has been housed in poorer settings (my own body for example). I ran across these two separate images in my daily pilgrimage through St. Blogs. The first image is as David Morrison calls it the Tennis Ball Tabernacle in his post (by the way David is back posting more frequently). Not surprising he was looking for the Tabernacle to pray in front of and couldn’t find it until somebody told him where it was. Reminds me of the first of four times I was in Mombasa, Kenya and I walked right through the center of town looking for the center of town. The second image comes from Rantings of an obnoxious Seminarian whose post on the subject is well worth reading. I believe it was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen who when he noticed this trend towards removing the Blessed Sacrament from the center of the Church referred to the Gospel story where Mary Magdalene cries out "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.", so this problem is not anything new.
I remember once when I was doubtful that a square box that looked like bakelite was the tabernacle I realized that it had to be since their were kneelers in front of it and a large candle that must have been a sanctuary lamp. On this occasion I applied a bit of Mr. Sherlock Holmes’s logic. After all, once you have eliminated everything that is impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbable, must be the tabernacle.
In a insightful post by Matthew at The Dusty Choir Loft:
It’s funny to me that as modern-"liturgists" work hard at de-ritualizing the Catholic liturgy, modern television is ritualizing itself.
Think for a second about all the rituals involved in television (especially reality based TV)…
- When anyone from Survivor is voted off the island, their torch must be extinguished, because light represents their life on the island.
- Before every episode of Iron Chef (the Japanese edition) they challenger is brought in and the Iron Chefs are brought up on platforms through the floor. They then must choose their opponent in this opening ritual.
- YOU’RE FIRED!
Isn’t it interesting that while these "liturgists" work at trying to make the Mass look like anything but a ritual, their counterparts who are busy stranding people on islands, locking people in houses and forcing people to do humiliating tasks for the opportunity of working for a large corporation are busy making up new rituals.
I am only too afraid of what a liturgist who likes Iron Chef could do to the liturgy. I can too easily imagine a Chairman Kaga type, clothing and all, announcing who the "presider" of today’s Mass is. Though I think I wouldn’t mind watching Iron Priest. A show where two priest compete in a homiletic showdown. At the start of the show the mystery topic is revealed and they have to then preach a powerful sermon with little preparation time. They both retire to their own Ambo where they put together their homily by choosing applicable selections from the Fathers of the Church, the Saints, and others. A panel then grades the homilies based on orthodoxy, presentation, and originality and then at the end we find out whose homily reigns supreme. If they tie they go in for an overtime homiletic battle and given a different topic to preach on.
“Today’s topic…. BIRTH CONTROL! Allllllleeeeeeeez HOMILY!”
The two priests look at each other.
At the start of the show the mystery topic is revealed and they have to then preach a powerful sermon with little preparation time.
The one in the right pic looks like a toilet.
Art, my… grandmother.
What do these items have in common: a Greek shield, a double school desk, a cross of large proportions and surpassing plainness, and a prop from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL spaceship interior??? Answer… They’re all together in this photo! WHY???
Isn’t that toilet a bit too open with all the glass windows around it?! It looks like it’d be uncomfortable to sit on, too…
Okay, the thing on the left looks like a spaceship command center, which is bad, but at least somewhat reasonably bad. However, the stone toilet/urinal combination of the right is just hideous. And in the open too! Can’t people do their business in private? Sheesh…
Hehe, the bridge of the USS Enterprise and a very public toilet.
No, no, you guys are all wrong about the one on the right. It’s a stone replica of a Liberty Bell on top of a toilet.
An “Iron Chef” competition for priests? Dude, that idea is AWESOME!!!! Somebody call EWTN! Could we have a panel of Japanese judges with dubbed-in comments, too?
(Japanese female movie star)-“Your point about Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body was very good, I think.” (Covers mouth and giggles)
(Curmudgeonly Japanese columnist) – “There was not enough Humanae Vitae. I could barely notice it. Your homily was very superficial, I think.”
From a post by “Obnoxious Seminarian”
“. . . The diocese has been blessed with many baby busters who are out to restore the Church and her teachings and if you get in thier way prepare to be annihilated. . .”
Watch out! Smackdown Catholicism! I wonder what Blessed Pope John Paul the Magnificent would say . . .
Sauraman’s palantir! Shouldn’t someone cover it up before the Eye sees something?!?
Where is the tabernacle supposed to be? My church is undergoing renovations and they have moved it from the right side of the altar to the stone structure behind the altar now. I read something about this having to do with Vatican II. It makes sense to me although it will make it more difficult to kneel in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
This has nothing to do with Vatican II and there are no Church documents mandating that the tabernacle be moved. In fact “Sacrosanctum Concilium” only said:
“These laws refer especially to the worthy and well planned construction of sacred buildings, the shape and construction of altars, the nobility, placing, and safety of the Eucharistic tabernacle, the dignity and suitability of the baptistery, the proper ordering of sacred images, embellishments, and vestments.”
Later in a councilar decree:
“Particularly in larger churches, a chapel specially set aside for the reservation and adoration of the Eucharist is advisable and might well be used for the Eucharistic celebration during the week, when there are fewer of the faithful participating.”
This provision was mainly for larger churches with lots of visitors (for example historic Churches) so that people might not be disturbed by tourists while in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
�1. The Most Holy Eucharist is to be reserved regularly in only one tabernacle of a church or oratory.
�2. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved should be placed in a part of the church that is prominent, conspicuous, beautifully decorated, and suitable for prayer.
�3. The tabernacle in which the Eucharist is regularly reserved is to be immovable, made of solid and opaque material, and locked so that the danger of profanation may be entirely avoided.
In addition Redemptionis Sacramentum says:
�According to the structure of each church building and in accordance with legitimate local customs, the Most Holy Sacrament is to be reserved in a tabernacle in a part of the church that is noble, prominent, readily visible, and adorned in a dignified manner�
So if anyone says they must move the tabernacle because of Vatican II they are simply misinformed.
Thanks for the quick response, Jeff. I went back to the article and realized I had misread it. In my defense, there has to be at least 8 prep phrases in that one sentence. The article is written by Kathleen Shaw, who has to be the newspaper’s “Catholic Correspondent” because she writes every article about anything Catholic in the area, oftentimes critical…
Where the tabernacle used to be, they are going to have a devotional site for saints, including St. Francis Xavier and St. Therese now. There will be a couple of statues of those saints.
Excerpt from the article:
“The tabernacle, which houses what Catholics call the Blessed Sacrament, has been moved to the center of the old altar, which is in back of the altar used for the new Mass since the Second Vatican Council. It formerly was off to one side.”
Anyone else remember the bit from SNL in the 70s, two Joe Sixpack guys looking at the the screen and saying, “What the hell is that? I don’t know. What the hell is that?…”
Well a maxim for tabernacles, church furnishings, and any kind of liturgical art should be; if you can honestly ask that question, it shouldn’t be in a church.
That by the way was what I thought when I first saw the tabernacle in the LA cathedral.
Clearly the photo on the right is the prop that was used in the movie “Dodgeball” from the final match scene.
Is that second image supposed to be a baptistry? Not to sound like a pig, but from that angle, it looks like there’s a toilet off to the side of it. And that first one, supposedly a Tabernacle? Looks like a trophy.
Sorry. Had to.
It sounds to me like they are trying to correct a mistaken notion of vatican II. I would say it is praiseworthy to place the tabernacle in the center of (what was once) the high altar (is that not what you described? I could not think of a more prominent, readily visible and suitably adorned place for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. (its proximity to the altar of sacrifice [the free standing altar] is an added benefit, as it reminds us that the Eucharistic Species is part and parcel of the Eucharistic Sacrifice) As far as kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, if He is reserved on the former high altar, then anybody in the Church can kneel before our Lord (not just those on one side or the other)
I mentioned your mentioning of my blog, and in doing so mentioned your blog. Thanks for the mention.
The Catholic high school here has a sculpture in front that consists of a continuous loop that changes direction so that from any point of vantage it looks exactly like the seat of a public toilet. It’s called (honest truth) “Seat Of Wisdom”. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.
I think the one on the left looks like the Wicked Witch of the West’s crystal ball during one of her incantations.
Ok so on the right is an (ugly) toilet, and on the left is a cross with the wieght of the world on it. Not a crucifix mind you….just a cross. I’m just curious…where have all the tabernacles of the past gone too? I mean, where are they? They all must be in a satanic chamber in the basement of some college. At least the satanist know the true presents when they see it (with distain).
Where have all the tabernacles of the past gone to? I would like the answer to that one and a few others: Where have all the altar rails of the past gone? Where have all the confessional (boxes) of the past gone? Okay, I will stop at two. If anyone knows where I can locate these treasures, I know a parish that would make good use of them!
Guess the “tennis ball” tabernacle in the Immaculate Conception Center is famous now. I’ve been in that Adoration Chapel before, trying to pray to Christ in that spherical object. I must say, it’s distracting; not the most “comfortable” Adoration Chapel to be in.
In Jesu et Maria,
Fr. Totton, I am one of the lucky ones. The church I go to in Portland Oregon, Holy Rosary, has all of the above. Confessionals, communion rails, a stunning tabernacle behind the altar, stained glass of the 15 mysteries of the rosary all the way around the church, trained altar “boys”, and all of the bells and smells you remember. But when I go see my parents in Eugene Ore., the church I grew up at, they have removed everything,(they use to hide the statue of the Blessed Mother in the unused confessional) and the once beautiful tabernacle they had is now???????? (anyone? anyone?) They now have a black box on the left hand side of the alter that looks like a charded radio from the early 50’s. They want to get rid of the kneelers too. Go figure…..
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