Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Tabernacle door
Tabernacle door QUESTION from Susan Feliciano August 24, 2001
I often times will visit another church in our area for daily Mass. The tabernacle is not in the sanctuary but in a side chapel along the side and very accessible, meaning you can walk right up to it as you pass. Sometimes, when the Eucharistic minister goes there to bring the Holy Eucharist to the altar, they will leave the door wide open with the Eurcharist which is reseved for adoration inside. In our parish the door is always closed during Communion and I feel uneasy when I see it left open in such an accessible manner. Please give me your views on the protocol of the Tabernacle.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on August 27, 2001
Dear Mrs. Feliciano,
I presume that what you are saying is that it is during Mass (specifically, Communion time) when the tabernacle door is left open with consecrated hosts inside. Since there is a Mass in the church, I also presume that there is noone in the chapel when the door is left open. I would consider this a violation of Canon law which states:
§3. The tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved habitually is to be immovable, made of solid and opaque material, and locked in such a way that the danger of profanation is avoided as much as possible. (canon 938) If I presumed incorrectly, write back and we'll look a little closer.
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