From a reader:
I have searched everywhere and I cannot find norms for what are the appropriate postures of the faithful when the tabernacle door is opened in Church, outside of Mass, for a communion call, etc… in a Church.
On one hand I have seen places where everyone goes about their business, no matter what proximity you are to the tabernacle. Only the minister offers revererence.
I have seen other places (rare) where the opening of the tabernacle door for a communion call was like exposition of the Eucharist, everyone in the Church was expected to stop and kneel until the Minister closed the door.
A third interpretion indicated special reverence was due only those in the Sanctuary at the time knelt, but all others continued moving in the Church, following the normal reverences designated for when the crossed in front of the tabernacle.
Where might I find the correct norms for this? I guess the last interp. seems most balanced since the mere attendance to sick is not a public act of worship, and are we to presume everytime the tabernacle doors are opened we in effect are engaged in an exposition of the Blessed Sacrament?
I don’t know if this has ever been described in the Church’s liturgical law. However, I am pretty sure that the perennial practice is that when the door of the tabernacle is opened, people should stop what they are doing and kneel.
Consider the reverential awe Moses had for the God in the burning bush and glimpse through the cleft in the rock. Consider the reverence shown the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple. Consider Peter kneeling before the Lord and saying that he was just a sinner. Consider Whom we have reserved in our tabernacles.
Yah… when the door is opened, get down on your knees, people!