Bishop Paprocki rules tabernacles must be in central location in Springfield diocese churches
June 24, 2014
In a pastoral letter on the Eucharistic liturgy, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has directed all pastors to ensure that the tabernacle is placed in the center of the church sanctuary or in "a visible, prominent, and noble space."
Bishop Paprocki writes that proper celebration of the liturgy is "the key to fostering the active participation of the People of God in divine worship." For that reason he strongly encourages serious attention to religious art and architecture, sacred music, and reverent celebration.
Emphasizing that devotion to the Eucharist is central to the faith, the bishop orders that in churches and chapels in which the tabernacle has been moved away from the center of the sanctuary, it should be restored to its central place. "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," he adds.
Bishop Paprocki also strongly encourages Eucharistic processions, especially on the feast of Corpus Christi, "as a witness to our faith in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist and as an expression of our belief that God is in our midst even in our everyday lives."