A reason given for the placement of the new tabernacle at St. Margaret, Bel Air (CR, Sept. 4) represents a serious misunderstanding. The article stated that the parishioners “were not being exposed to the real presence of Christ during the weekend Masses,” because they could not view the tabernacle in its former location. In fact, Christ is always present to us in several ways during the Mass, as is made clear in the following excerpt from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican II, #7:
“He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister … but especially under the Eucharistic species. … He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the church. He is present, finally, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: ‘Where two or three are gathered together for my sake, there am I in the midst of them.’” (Mt. 18.20).
It is not my intention to detract from the parishioners’ great joy in the dedication of their new tabernacle. However, it is an injustice to them and to your readers to suggest that for “two generations” the location of the tabernacle had deprived them of the real presence of Christ during Mass. Our joy is in the real presence of Christ whenever and wherever the Mass is celebrated among His people.