Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Compendium of the 1961 Revision of the Pontificale Romanum - Part 12.2: The Blessing of a Tabernacle (1595 & 1961)

The blessing of tabernacles and other vessels for the conservation of the Holy Eucharist begins with the versicles “Our help is in the name of the Lord.” and “The Lord be with you,” followed by this prayer.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, we humbly beseech Thy majesty, that Thou may deign to consecrate this vessel with the grace of Thy bless+ing, made for keeping The body of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Through the same Our Lord. (long conclusion)
The word “vessel” is said regardless of which kind of vessel (pyx, tabernacle etc.) is being blessed. The bishop then sprinkles it with holy water.

In the revision of 1961, the word “vessel” is changed to “tabernacle”, but “vessel” is included in parentheses and may be said when appropriate. The prayer is said with the short conclusion.

The title of the blessing in 1595 is “the blessing of a tabernacle, or other vessel for the conservation of the Most Holy Eucharist.” In the revision of 1961, this is changed to “tabernacle, pyx, monstrance or vessel”; for the latter, the Latin word “vasculum” is changed to “theca”.

A dove-shaped vessel for the conservation of the Holy Sacrament, made in Limoges, France ca. 1215-35, now kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The plate on which the dove stands was attached to four chains, by which the vessel was suspended from the ceiling above the altar. 

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