Shocking Halloween tabernacle news!

From the often amusing Eye of the Tiber comes this sad but all too common Halloween report:

Man Dressed As Tabernacle At Halloween Party Ignored; Is Moved To Corner Of Room

Austin, TX–According to reports from several eyewitnesses moments ago, 27-year-old Austin man Emmanuel Dickens, who showed up to a Halloween party dressed as his favorite tabernacle, was promptly ignored and escorted to the corner of the room. The party’s host Thomas Martin told Eye of the Tiber that having the man there was “for some reason just kinda putting a damper on the fellowship thing” he was going for. “It’s not necessarily that he’s not wanted at the party,” Martin said.  ”It’s just that it’s a bit awkward when everyone’s trying to catch up and chit-chat, and he’s just standing there not saying anything.”  Kimberley Wilson, who also attended the party, reported that she had a pleasant, though brief, conversation with Dickens, but that it was difficult to focus on what he was trying say. “Well, no one else was talking to him, and he was relegated to the corner like he had some kinda disease. I thought I’d say hello, but it’s kinda hard when everyone’s talking so loud. Not to mention the David Haas Pandora station blaring in the background. I couldn’t understand anything he was trying to say.” At press time, Martin was considering moving Dickens to another room altogether.

Maybe it could share space with brooms and buckets.


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  1. ReginaMarie says:

    I am fairly certain one such Emmanuel Dickens resides at a parish in my town where the sanctuary is styled “in the round” & Dickens has been relegated to a corner behind a row of pews… :(

    (I am sure I am not the only one to catch the pun/irony of the name Emmanuel, which means “God with us”)

    ” I couldn’t understand anything he was trying to say”…how telling…

  2. don Jeffry says:

    I heard that this guy’s friends arrived at the party a little later and they looked all over for him but couldn’t find him!

  3. Ryan says:

    He was later asked to leave after his friends, prostrate on the ground before him, became literal AND literal obstacles to the Ecumenical Dance Troupe’s ‘Many Roads’ number. “They’re just so stubborn and intolerant,” said one attendee, “and rude. I mean, we’re trying to praise Jesus and these people lie there like stumbling blocks. Imagine, a stumbling block at a Jesus experience. It’s just sad.”

  4. Bruce Wayne says:

    I know it is kind of a “chicken and egg” argument to make but I tend to place the architecture and interior design of a church as a more fundamental problem than liturgy, not in order of essential importance (liturgy, the Mass is clearly primary) but in temporal order.

    Think of it this way, how can someone intent on liturgical innovation or abuse do that freely in a traditionally designed church? With the altar against the back of the apse, with a tabernacle centrally placed and the pews arranged so that the lay and priests all have their attention focused on Christ (in the central crucifix or icons at the altar piece as well as the tabernacle) then even the NO would be forced to be much more traditional, solemn and dignified. The architecture would restrict the attempts of an ideologically anti-traditional priest to make themselves the focus as an actor (or clarinet player even) with an audience. Likewise, the layout of the pews would not make the lay look at each other self-reflectively or give an aggrandized place to some music director with his acoustic guitar and his accompanists on wood blocks and triangle, or whatever; even a choir should not be at “stage right” or “left” in a church but basically out of sight. So the innovator must first adjust the architecture, at the very least by bringing in some other table and designating it the “altar” placing it before the original altar of a church with traditional architecture.

    A church with a proper layout that includes a clearly demarcated chancel and thus altar rail will always easily allow for the option of a traditional minded priest to re-introduce a more dignified and formal liturgy.

    Clearly ideas and an ideology that sought to “liberate” the Roman Rite from traditional ways comes before the physical changing of churches, especially in a place like suburban America that is a child of the Reformation. But the deconstruction, iconoclasm, and mainline Protestant architecture and decor of the vast majority of Catholic churches in the U.S. basically enshrines in concrete, plaster, and skid-proof carpet a terrible N.O. liturgy, making liturgical renewal so much more difficult.

    It was a brilliant defensive measure on the part of the innovators and is a tactic of revolutionaries as old as the French Jacobins when they immediately “enlightened” the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

  5. Hank Igitur says:

    Tabernacle relegated to the corner, ignored……………..
    This sounds oh so familiar in modern churches, does it not?

  6. Ryan says:

    @Hank Igitur: That’s the joke.

  7. Allan S. says:

    I recently moved and in my parish (no confessional, tabernacle in the corner) kids scream and run and play in front of me while I kneel and pray in front of the Real Presence. No one says or does anything, and I’m the one who gets looks.

    How long? How long O Lord?

  8. philstudent13 says:

    I still don’t understand the reasoning behind moving the tabernacle in the first place. In all the places I’ve seen it, its not like they had to move it in order to make room for something else in its place, since there is just a blank space under the crucifix. At the school I am at now, they even left up the old altar in its place (though of course it is not used since it would require the priest to be ad orientem , and they set up another one, which might actually be just outside the sanctuary), but the tabernacle just had to be moved off to the right side where it is impossible to see from about 2/3 of the pews.
    Of course, moving it there required getting rid of the St. Joseph statue that used to be there. Which means the tabernacle now sits on a large marble pedestal which is clearly labelled ‘St. Joseph,’ which not only annoys me, but given the poor state of catechesis nowadays, could be highly misleading to the less-than-informed. Unless of course the Jesuits here have developed some sort of new experimental liturgy in which the Eucharist becomes the body and blood of St. Joseph (With the confluence of Jesuits, LCWR sisters, and the LA Religious Education Conference in the area, I would not put it past them).

  9. Hank Igitur says:

    The argument is that only the Eucharistic Presence which is consecrated during the Mass being said be present on the altar and further that only hosts/pieces consecrated during such Mass be distributed at communion time. It is a flawed concept which deliberately emphasises the Mass as happy meal at the expense of the propitiatory sacrifice. Putting the tabernacle off the altar in a corner is no joke, it is a deliberate attempt to reduce emphasis on the Real Presence.

  10. JonPatrick says:

    Hank Igitur, that reminds me of the argument historically raging in the Anglican/Episcopal church about reservation of the sacrament, many arguing that it was strictly for the purpose of making it available to be taken to the sick, and trying to avoid any sense of Jesus being really present in the tabernacle. It’s sad that such Protestant concepts would find their way to the Catholic Church.

  11. pmullane says:

    Just as well as he didnt go as a high altar, he would have been left attached to the Eastern wall for 40 years, ignored and unused!!

  12. jaykay says:

    pmullane: that’s if he was lucky! He’s much more likely to have been knocked down violently and deposited outside in a bin.

  13. pmullane says:

    jaykay – :)

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