Bishop Paprocki: Return the Tabernacle to the Center of the Sanctuary

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Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has directed all the pastors in his diocese to move the tabernacles in their churches back to the center of the sanctuary.

In a beautifully written pastoral letter, Ars celebrandi at adorandi (The Art of Celebrating and Worshiping), Bishop Paprocki expounds on the rich tradition and teachings of the Church regarding the celebration and reverence for the Eucharist.

Bishop Paprocki also recounts the lamentable movement in the last few decades that has seen the Blessed Sacrament relegated to “side chapels,” which he notes are sometimes nothing more than converted storage closets.

And that, says Bishop Paprocki, needs to change now:

“I direct that in the churches and chapels of our diocese, tabernacles that were formerly in the center of the sanctuary, but have been moved, are to be returned as soon as possible to the center of the sanctuary in accord with the original architectural design. Tabernacles that are not in the center of the sanctuary or are otherwise not in a visible, prominent and noble space are to be moved to the center of the sanctuary; tabernacles that are not in the center of the sanctuary but are in a visible, prominent and noble space may remain.”

Bishop Paprocki also reminds the faithful that the proper sign of reverence for our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is to genuflect, not merely to bow.  He also encourages more frequent Eucharistic exposition and adoration, as well as public Eucharistic processions through the streets.

Bishop Paprocki, you rock.

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Categories:Liturgy New Evangelization

53 thoughts on “Bishop Paprocki: Return the Tabernacle to the Center of the Sanctuary

  1. Michael Dineen says:

    I just received you request to take a survey on ObamaCare vs Christianity. Before i fill out this survey I would like to ask what is your plan for healthcare for the poor and the sick- also since 70 % of abortions are from among the poor – do you have a program to help the poor. Jesus is so emphatic about – “When I was hungry you fed me and when I was sick you cared for me . ” don’t want to be told by Jesus one day “depart from me”. I am from Paul Ryan’s district in Wisconsin and I can not get an answer from him on this – as a matter of fact sometimes he says things about the poor and sick that are worrisome. Please let me know your plans and thoughts.

  2. Dana says:

    Here a lot of the churches have the tabernacle in the center of the church as it rightfully should be.

  3. Helen Joanne Satmary says:

    God Bless Bishop Popracki. I hope many other Bishops will follow suit!

  4. wildbill says:

    Many of our churches don’t even have regulation altars, they have “terrible tables”. By this I mean they don’t even have altar stones with relics of the saints in them. Having the tabernacle off to the side makes sure us peasants know that the presider is #1, not Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I pray more bishops will take Bishop Paprocki’s lead. Until we put Jesus in the Holy Eucharist at the center of EVERYTHING, we are only worshiping idols of all kinds.

  5. Matthias says:

    We’ve tried the communal focus way for 50 years. “To shift focus of the mass to the community” and look at the world…. Just look at it! Really look at the world! See you keep looking at the world and what do you get , go outside and look at it. What do you get ? Now go to adoration and be with the Eucharist and look at Him. Look at Him…. Just look at Him and what do you get? See… Focus on Him…. See better….. Be better when we focus on the world we get blurry and foggy. When we focus on Our Lord ….. Deep (often so deep we want to run away and not do it deep. Yes it’s hard but …. Better. We all want better because the Eucharist is the glimpse of eternal that is better , this world , the human community included is passing away. Not our lord yes He will be after the world so while your here look at Him here so you can recognize Him In the next. .

  6. Karen says:

    The correct spelling is “altar” not alter.

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