Using a church in a recording
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,765
    (Just to clarify, I have nothing against reverencing the altar too! I just see a problem when the tabernacle is divorced from the altar as was not the case traditionally, apart from special parishes and cathedrals.)
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,061
    GIRM
    Genuflections and Bows
    274. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.
    During Mass, three genuflections are made by the Priest Celebrant: namely, after the elevation of the host, after the elevation of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. nos. 210–251).
    If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is situated in the sanctuary, the Priest, the Deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.
    Otherwise, all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.
    Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting.
    275. A bow signifies reverence and honour shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bow: a bow of the head and a bow of the body.
    A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and a. at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honour Mass is being celebrated.
    A bow of the body, that is to say, a profound bow, is made to the altar; during b. the prayers Munda cor meum (Cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitatis (With humble spirit); in the Creed at the words et incarnatus est (and by the Holy Spirit…and became man); in the Roman Canon at the Supplices te rogamus (In humble prayer we ask you, almighty God). The same kind of bow is made by the Deacon when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel. In addition, the Priest bows slightly as he pronounces the words of the Lord at the Consecration.
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    It is eastern. Interestingly enough, anything that touches the altar becomes blessed. That is why icons are traditionally left on the altar for 40 days when taken to church to be blessed. Today, many don't leave them there that long but that is traditional practice.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    (Just to clarify, I have nothing against reverencing the altar too! I just see a problem when the tabernacle is divorced from the altar as was not the case traditionally, apart from special parishes and cathedrals.)


    Actually, the tabernacles were not placed on the altar until some time after Trent. The church was initially opposed to the practice but later threw in the towel and accepted it. The tabernacles until then were holy houses, often freestanding, away from the altar.
  • A fine point, Charles -

    Interesting, isn't it, how an older tradition and practice can be replaced by a newer one and everybody thinks that it is the newer one that is 'traditional'. (Ditto albs as sanctuary vesture vs the more recent cassock and surplice) Placing the Tabernacle on or behind the high altar is quite a recent (16th century) innovation.

    The much older Sacrament Houses were often quite elaborate affairs in an elaborately carved style one would expect of Gothic architecture. They were actually like rather tall and architecturally elaborate pedestals or towers topped by towering spires. Placed away from the high altar, and often at some place outside the Sanctuary, they are more fitting and have far more sacral personality than most, if not all but a few, Tabernacles of modern times.

    Another older form of reserving the Sacrament was to put it in a hanging pyx, often in the shape of a dove which was suspended from the ceiling of the sanctuary or chancel.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 464
    Interesting points that you put forward! As a sidenote, this shows that the practice of removing the Blessed Sacrament during concerts is a lot less obvious than the documents make you believe.
    A concert is not a ritual activity, it is pro-fane, “in front of (outside) the temple”. That doesn't mean dishonorable or improper, but not sacred, not of the sanctuary, and doesn't belong there. [...] If our churches had chancel veils (as was still common in England where in the Sarum rite the chancel was veiled for the whole of Lent) it would be appropriate to close them when profane (but honorable) activities are going on outside it.
    This makes perfect sense to me: The Blessed Sacrament remains where it belongs and the less sacred action is kept at a distance - rather than the other way round! (as we are instructed to do...)
  • Quite right, Elmar -
    Bravo again for Sarum.
    As a matter of fact, at least in the sixties when I was there, when a recital or such took place in Christ Church Cathedral a screen, a tasteful example of an ordinary folding screen as might be found in a home, was placed before the high altar.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,932
    But MJO... if you are in the oval office with the pres, would you first acknowledge the resolute desk, ignoring the pres himself?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,061
    Eucharisticum mysterium #53. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel
    The place in a church or oratory where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle should be truly prominent. It ought to be suitable for private prayer so that the faithful may easily and fruitfully, by private devotion also, continue to honor our Lord in this sacrament. It is therefore recommended that, as far as possible, the tabernacle be placed in a chapel distinct from the middle or central part of the church, above all in those churches where marriages and funerals take place frequently ...
    #55 ... , it is more in keeping with the nature of the celebration that the Eucharistic presence of Christ, which is the fruit of the consecration and should be seen as such, should not be on the altar from the very beginning of Mass through the reservation of the sacred species in the tabernacle.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 464
    when a recital or such took place [...] a tasteful example of an ordinary folding screen as might be found in a home, was placed before the high altar
    In a modern (and rather ugly) church to which I belonged, there was a movable wooden wall that could be shifted through the altar such that it divided the space into a small 'proper' church and a gathering room with a stage, used for concerts and theater.
    I liked the idea that we were performing in almost touching-distance from our Lord, without any risk of profanation.

    Such an arrangement would be against local requirement over here that only 'all sacred space' may be used for regular liturgy.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    To respond to cmbearer's suggestion, a recording session often calls for putting microphones or performers in the sanctuary for acoustical reasons, and it's hard to reconcile all that standing around and performing and testing and repeating with due reverence to the Most Holy. That sort of issue doesn't arise in streamed Mass.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,702
    I don't mind a separate chapel for the Blessed Sacrament. It allows for both proper reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, wherein the altar is suitably large for handling the ciboria (it's not a shelf, in other words) and has six candles to be lit when Communion is distributed from the tabernacle, but the altar not usually used for Mass, as well as private prayer when other functions are going on, including Masses that are not of the day, like funerals or weddings, or even necessary functions, from rehearsals of the various ceremonies to cleaning the church.

    This also properly facilitates the celebration of pontifical functions.

    As to whether or not people understand when the Sacrament is removed or not, I feel like if they miss that the lamp is out and the door is opened, that's entirely on them. That said, I also am a fan of veiling the tabernacle. When two or all three are changed (lamp removed, veil removed, door open), then one can be sure, and it's a sign of not paying attention if one doesn't catch on.

    Luckily, in any case, the Ordinariate gets it right: anyone passing the tabernacle genuflects in the middle of a function, versus the bow required in the pure form of the NOM. But it's still funny to me that for all of the talk about reverencing the altar as the original and most important sign of Christ, the TLM requires a bow for the celebrant when the tabernacle is still present but a genuflection for all others during a liturgical function, unless the other sacred ministers are canons in their own church.