The Tabernacle

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The Tabernacle

The tabernacle in the sanctuary of Saint John Bosco Church was crafted in the studios of Arte Granda in Madrid, Spain, which was established in 1891 to promote excellence in the quality of liturgical objects. It is designed in the Roman style, representing the vault of heaven. The metalwork is plated in Spanish gold. The facade bears a relief of Christ and His Apostles.

Tabernacles house the Blessed Sacrament in which the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ are present. The Ten Commandments were sheltered in the Ark of the Covenant, and the Temple of Jerusalem had as its focus the Holy of Holies in which the presence of the Lord was approached by the High Priest on special occasions. God is manifest in the Eucharist species consecrated in the Holy Mass. This symbolic presence became a real one in the Eucharist, through transubstantiation.

Over the centuries, the Church used various forms of Sacrament Houses to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in order to take the Host to the sick and imprisoned, and for adoration. In the ninth century, churches used shrines for reservation similar to what we now use. Sometimes the Host was suspended in a hanging pyx, often in the form of a dove. St. Charles Borromeo set the example of a conspicuous tabernacle fixed in the sanctuary for security. The first such arrangement may have been introduced by Cardinal Pole in England, acting on the guidelines of the Council of Trent. In large cathedrals and other churches of sufficient size, a special chapel may be set aside for the tabernacle. The latest guidelines of the Holy See encourage visibility and centrality, to cultivate a devotion which in recent years has fallen into neglect (Canon 938; Catechism 1183). When the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the sanctuary, the normal act of reverence upon entering and leaving the church is to genuflect, except in the case of physical infirmity (Eucharistiæ Sacramentum 84).