Christ at the Center

40 Hours Devotion, Self-Guided Retreat, and Tabernacle Relocation on March 14–17

The traditional 40 Hours Devotion will give our parish an opportunity to repent of our sins during Lent and to center our parish life on the Eucharist during the Eucharistic Revival. It will also prepare us to celebrate the relocation of our tabernacle to the heart of our parish at Masses on March 16–17. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for Adoration in the chapel for 40 hours over three days, representing the 40 days of Lent and the 40 hours that Christ’s Body lay in the tomb. Parishioners are invited to sign up for one or more hours of Adoration and to take a self-guided retreat in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. You can also drop in unannounced when it’s convenient for you. The Blessed Sacrament will be processed from the chapel to the main church during the Sunday Masses.

  1. Thursday: Mass at 9 a.m. followed by Adoration until 2 a.m. on Friday, Confession from 5–8 p.m.
  2. Friday: Mass at 9 a.m. followed by Adoration until 2 a.m. on Saturday, Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m.
  3. Saturday: Confession at 9 a.m., Adoration from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mass at 5 p.m.
  4. Sunday: Masses at 9 and 11 a.m. followed by coffee and donuts in the hall

Why Is the Tabernacle Important?

Once the Eucharist has been consecrated during Mass, it remains the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. Catholic churches have tabernacles to serve as secure, reverent vessels for the Eucharist between Masses. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved for Holy Communion outside of Mass (especially for the sick) and for Eucharistic Adoration (prayer in Christ’s Eucharistic presence).

Why Are We Moving Ours?

At Our Lady of the Lake, we want to ensure that the Eucharist is always at the center of our parish life. We also want to be obedient to the Church’s laws and guidelines. That’s why we are moving our tabernacle into the sanctuary of the main church (the raised area with the altar at its center), specifically the area behind the ambo (where the Scriptures are proclaimed). This location will honor the reserved Eucharist and more clearly show that it is the fruit of the holy sacrifice of the Mass celebrated nearby on the altar.

Canon law requires that the tabernacle be kept in a beautiful, dignified, and prominent part of the church that is easily accessible to the faithful for their private prayer. It should either be in the sanctuary (but preferably not on the main altar) or in another part of the church that is organically connected to the sanctuary. Based on the guidance of the Church and our bishop, we have decided to move the tabernacle to a part of the sanctuary separate from the altar. This will place the reserved Blessed Sacrament at the heart of our church while also encouraging us to focus on Christ becoming present at the consecration on the altar during Mass.

Moving our tabernacle also gives us the opportunity to refurbish it. The company that originally constructed our tabernacle will install new gold plating in its interior, re-stain the wooden exterior, and polish the brass images of the Twelve Apostles.

How Was this Decided?

The process of moving the tabernacle began several years ago and has involved detailed conversations between our pastor, staff, pastoral council, and the diocesan committee that oversees church renovations. Ultimately, Fr. Michael presented a proposal to Bishop Walkowiak, who approved it.

What Is the Timeline?

Our tabernacle was removed for refurbishment early in the new year. In the meantime, we will reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a temporary tabernacle in the chapel. Our tabernacle will be re-installed in the sanctuary of the main church before Holy Week. We will celebrate the relocation on March 16–17 at all Masses.

What Will Change?

Parishioners will genuflect toward the sanctuary instead of bowing, since the Lord will be present in the Blessed Sacrament reserved there in the tabernacle. The tabernacle will be much closer to the main altar, which will be more convenient for the celebration of Mass in the main church on Sundays and holy days. The Blessed Sacrament will be carried between the tabernacle and the chapel for weekday Masses and Eucharistic Adoration.

Those who wish to visit the Blessed Sacrament for private prayer during the week will do so in the main church. OLL will install a new security system to ensure the safety of the Eucharist, parishioners, and guests.

Most importantly, the reserved Blessed Sacrament will be located at the physical and symbolic center of our parish, helping us to worship our Eucharistic Lord more consciously and reverently during the National Eucharistic Revival and for years to come.

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