Author Topic: What is this object on the altar called?  (Read 899 times)

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Offline erracht

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What is this object on the altar called?
« on: August 28, 2004, 09:53:16 AM »
There is an object in the middle of the altar and I don't know what it is. In one church, it is shaped like a small temple or other building, with angels inside, surmounted by a cross, and covered with glass. In another, it's more vessel-like, but may again look like a church/temple. What is it?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2004, 09:53:41 AM by erracht »
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Offline Rustaveli

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Re:What is this object on the altar called?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2004, 10:26:16 AM »
I think that it is a tabernacle (or so this object is commonly known in the Western Church), for reserving the Holy Mysteries or elements of the Eucharist.

At one time I heard that, generally [or at one point in history?], the consecrated Bread and Wine of the Holy Mysteries were usually only kept in the Eastern Church when there will be a Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts - i.e., during Great Lent.

I believe that many Churches have the Mysteries so reserved on the altar, in case the need should arise for communion of the sick - something that probably goes back to quite early in Christian history.

Perhaps some others could shed insight on this...

P.S. - Is this what the object looks like? -

http://www.easternchristian.com/page189.html#306

« Last Edit: August 28, 2004, 10:27:15 AM by Rustaveli »

Offline Orthodoc

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Re:What is this object on the altar called?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2004, 10:45:12 AM »
[I think that it is a tabernacle (or so this object is commonly known in the Western Church), for reserving the Holy Mysteries or elements of the Eucharist.]

At one time weren't the Holy Mysteries kept in a replica of a Dove which hung above the Altar.  I think this is still done in some eastern churches.  

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