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

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

  1. Susan says:

    AMEN! We need The Lord to be in the center of the church where we can honor, adore and acknowledge his presence just like we need The Lord to be the center of our lives.
    How about receiving communion on the tongue and not in the hands? We as lay people are not worthy to touch our lord and I think it should only be priests and deacons who should be distributing the sacred host of our Lord.

  2. Peter says:

    Amen! It is beautiful decision :)

  3. Maureen says:

    God Bless Bishop Paprocki

  4. sharon says:

    You are the best!

  5. Michael S says:

    When visiting my daughter at Denver, we went to Mass at a CC in Aurora and I was flabbergasted by not seeing a tabernacle behind the altar. I didn’t realize where their tabernacle was until communion when the Deacon went back into a barred room off to the rear of the church to get the reserved hosts prior to communion. There was the correct candle procession to bring up the Hosts, but when communion was over, there was no Candle Recession of the reserved hosts. Apparently, the barred room was the adoration chapel during the week. I still did not care for the lack of having a tabernacle behind or near the altar. That was the last time I went to the chruch.

  6. Margaret G. says:

    Finally a member of the clergy who thinks Jesus is the center of the Eucharist! Thank you Your Excellency.

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