Lesson 3: The Tabernacle

Listen to today’s Lenten Lesson.

Did you ever hear of the “Holy of Holies”?

Hi, this is Fr. Rocky, with our Third Lenten Lesson on the Mass. Pope Emeritus Benedict kneels before the tabernacle

The “Holy of Holies” was the innermost chamber in the Temple of Jerusalem reserved only for the High Priest.  Today, in a Catholic Church, the “Holy of Holies” is the Tabernacle, because inside of it, in a golden vessel covered by a silk veil, is the Holy Eucharist, which is the very body and blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is really, truly and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine.

The Church stipulates that the Tabernacle should be clearly visible, noble, beautiful, safe and secure, so in most Churches it is placed in the center of the sanctuary, and can only be opened with a key.  Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “The Holy Eucharist is the center of absolutely everything.”   The most beautiful Tabernacle I have ever seen is the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini in St. Peter’s basilica.

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