Hi Sacristans and MCs,
Now that the tabernacle is moved to the sanctuary, there are some new things to consider!
Traffic in the Sanctuary
As much as possible, please try to keep the sanctuary area (the altar area) as free of "traffic" as possible. If you must go out into the sanctuary, please do only what you need to do, then leave the space as soon as you can.
Reverencing the Tabernacle and Altar
As you are preparing for Mass, when you first come out of the sacristy, it is proper to make some sign of reverence to the altar and the tabernacle. The ideal way to do this is to genuflect one time, as soon as you come out of the doorway.
if you have objects in your hands (for example, communion cups), then simply make one profound bow, facing both the altar and the tabernacle. Once you have genuflected or bowed, you do not have to repeat; that is, you don’t have to keep bowing or genuflecting every time you pass by the altar or the tabernacle.
Preparing the Sanctuary Area for Mass
Before Mass, please do make sure to draw the screen in front of the tabernacle, so that it is covered during Mass. [Right now, we are waiting for the screen to be made.]
Our primary visual focus during Mass should be on the altar and not the tabernacle, since we are celebrating the consecration of the Eucharist, and not the Eucharist that is in the tabernacle.
If there are any kneeling pads in front of the tabernacle, please return them to under the server’s pew. The kneelers may also be pushed off to the side.
When it comes time for the altar servers to light the candle next to the ambo, ideally, have them go around the back hallway and come out of the music side of the sacristy. But if that’s not possible, then have them walk in front of the altar and bow, and then go light the candle. Please do not have them walk in between the altar and the tabernacle.
There are 3 new light switches: one for the tabernacle, and two for the crucifix.
On the very top left is the new switch for the light above the tabernacle. During Mass, please turn it off. Also, on the right of the switch is a bar that can be raised and lowered, which controls how bright the light shines. Please do not raise the bar all the way to the top, or else the light bulb will burn out quickly. When you do turn it back on after Mass, set the lighting to about 75% intensity.
At the very bottom are the two new switches for the crucifix. They control the right and left sides of the crucifix. These should be used only during Mass. On the right side of each switch is a pen mark - please set the light intensity to that mark. Whatever you do, please do NOT turn the switch on all the way up, or else the bulb will burnout very quickly!
The Tabernacle Key and Eucharistic Ministers
Before Mass, the tabernacle key no longer has to be given to the Eucharistic Ministers.
But during Communion, please keep an eye on the EMs. If they need more hosts, please take the ciborium out of the tabernacle, and bring it to the EMs who need more hosts.
If the ciborium is used during Communion, leave it on the altar. After communion, the priest himself may return it to the tabernacle, or he may ask an EM or MC to return it.
If the ciborium is not used during Communion, but if there are extra hosts leftover from Communion, then the priest may take a communion bowl to the tabernacle and place the extra hosts in the ciborium. Or he may ask an EM or the MC to take the communion bowl and to place the hosts in the ciborium.
Remember, as much as possible, please try not to cross through the sanctuary area. Please respect the space and the Blessed Eucharist which is now in the sanctuary. If you need to go out into the church, try to instead use the hallway that goes to the side entry of the church.