St Finbar's Glenbrook Parish

The Blessed Sacrament

(An Explanation of the Symbols of St Finbar’s Church Glenbrook)

Symbols of St Finbar's - Blessed Sacrament
Photo: Peter McMahon

At the Last Supper, Jesus said: "Do this in commemoration of me."

The 'this' to which he referred was the action which is the Mass; he did not refer to the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, as such.

However, from the earliest times it has been the practice to reserve the sacrament for the needs of the sick and the dying; having reserved it, it was duly venerated.

But should it be reserved where Mass is celebrated? Going again to Vatican II, the Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Conilium, n. 7, speaks of the fourfold presence of Christ in the Mass.

"'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)'."

A fifth presence, in an adjacent tabernacle, from consecration at a previous Mass is, to say the least, confusing, and must distract attention from the action where we are trying to give effect to His instruction to do 'this'.

It is far preferable to reserve the Blessed Sacrament where is can be properly venerated in private prayer.