the end of the Mass of the dedication of a new church, the bishop may inaugurate
a chapel for the Blessed Sacrament. In some churches, the tabernacle is
kept in a chapel apart from the main body. That chapel is especially set
aside for prayer in this ceremony.
communion draws to a close, the leftover consecrated bread is gathered
into a ciborium and placed on the altar. After a period of silence, the
bishop leads the communion prayer. Then he goes to the altar, kneels before
the Blessed Sacrament in the ciborium, and incenses it. He receives the
humeral veil, a special long cloth to be draped around his shoulders. Covering
the ciborium with the ends of the veil, he lifts it. A procession starts
in front of him, led by the cross, candles, and incense.
this manner the bishop carries the Blessed Sacrament through the body of
the church while everyone sings an appropriate hymn. He enters the chapel
that will be set aside for reservation and sets the ciborium down on the
altar or inside the tabernacle, leaving its doors open. He removes the
humeral veil and incenses the ciborium. If the ciborium was on the altar,
the deacon now places it inside the tabernacle. Once these ceremonies have
all happened, the deacon closes the tabernacle door. Another minister lights
a nearby candle, commonly called the sanctuary lamp, which will always
burn to indicate that the Blessed Sacrament is inside the tabernacle.
Blessed Sacrament receives all this reverent attention because it is the
Body of Christ. Before this tabernacle, inside this special chapel, the
faithful — filled with awe at this most wondrous mystery — may enter, kneel,
and pray. ML
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This bulletin insert originally appeared in Ministry
& Liturgy, a pastoral planning resource used by the worship leaders
in your parish as an aid for better liturgy. Copyright
© 2005, Resource Publications, Inc. 160 E. Virginia St. #290, San
Jose, CA 95112, (408) 286-8505. This article may not be reproduced in any
form without permission from the publisher. For permission e-mail
Turner, pastor of St. Munchin Parish in Cameron, MO, holds a doctorate
in sacramental theology from Sant' Anselmo University in Rome.
Comment online at ML Current Issue Discussion. Clip art by Helen St.