Fr. JOHN SYMON
Reserving the Host
Question Whet is iht
differ, 1), tn.,, It the
hies rament in the tab( ttlitthand the Host nuts( toted at Ifolv Mass? Why has it IraV011te necessary lo itioAc (4 &Aunt /it In by removinR the tabernacle from the high altars of so
F. C., London, W.11
Answer -in the great majority of our churches the Blessed Sacrament is permanently reserved and, as a sign of Our Lord's presence, we keep a lamp burning and we genuflect towards the tabernacle. The new Roman Missal recom. mends that the best place ha reservation is a chapel, Separate from the natin sanctuary and suitable for recollected pi icate prayer.
In smaller ihurches this type of separate little chapel is often not practicable but, as the revised rite of Mass is best celebrated with the priest facing the congregation, the tabernacle cannot very well be kept on the main altar and in these meall churches it is usually put either to the rear or to the side of the sanctuary.
Our Lord is really present in the reserved Sacrament and it is equally true that at the Consecration of the Mass he becomes present on the altar under the signs of bread and wine, Nevertheless it would be a mistake to suggest that attendance at Mass is just the Same as adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
At Mass we do something different for we repeat what Jesus did at the Last Supper or, rather, we repeat those words and gestates which the. early Church recognised to be essenoal. )or t ord took bread, blessed and broke it, and then gave it to his apostles, saying the words of Consecration. Then he did very much the same with the cup of
Since the time of the Last Supper, the Mass has been added to in Many different eays but, so as to make Our Lord s essential action stand out more obviously, we are now adopting a practice which has been in vogue in the main churches of Rome for many years.
By placing the tabernacle away from the Altar. we show that at Mass (Nisi is not present in the same way throughout the whole service. Rather, what is originally mere bread and wine becomes at the consecration his Body and Blood.