Photos from a church in Seattle

Since Chris put up some photos of SFX, I thought it might be OK if I shared some of my own. These are photos of the Chapel of St. Ignatius, my university chapel that I attend.

Chapel of St. Ignatius.
This is the right third of the chapel. Not a very large place, I think it seats only around 200.

Chapel of St. Ignatius.
The tabernacle is located to the side and back of the chapel, rather than behind the altar. So as you walk into the chapel proper, this is the first thing you see. The candle that's on the floor used to hang from the tree but I think the chain needs fixing. 

Chapel of St. Ignatius.
This is our baptismal font and is located near the entrance. Babies get dunked in here (they warm the water up first) but at Easter, we do our baptisms outside in the reflection pool. Pretty cold during that time of the year too!


John Goh said...

I'm disturbed by the position of the tabernacle. Why is it at the back and not in the front?

Does this mean that people pray away from the tabernacle?

mochi said...
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mochi said...

you know, i never really questioned that myself but after some thought, a lot of churches here have their tabernacles at the side or housed in a seperate chapel altogether. like a place of respose. i suppose it also allows a more intimate setting for prayer in the presence of Christ.

i am not sure if the mass has to be celebrated with the tabernacle at the forefront. when we have the eucharist, we start from a "blank slate" and the host is consecrated during the mass. the tabernacle holds "extra" hosts that were not consumed during previous eucharists.

please correct me if i'm wrong. i'll email a priest and ask him if he could shed some light on that too.

mochi said...

allo again, here is a website that may help explain the issue better:


John Goh said...

Hi again,

well, I have come to a slow acceptance that priests have beed inclined to move the tabernacle to the side for reasons such as intimate setting for prayer and also that during Mass, the tabernacle should not be the point of focus.

However, to put it in a separate chapel, or at the back of your chapel where the people's back face it is a tad bit too much, at least to my way of thinking.

How do people then have that "intimate prayer" setting if they can't even face it.

I've seen the arguments for the tabernacle being at the side and the centre. The bottomline is that moving the tabernacle off centre or even in a separate chapel is like slowing moving the Eucharistic prime position to a side show or even out of the main church. That doesn't feel too right.

mochi said...

I think the intimate prayer setting was meant for times outside of the mass. Usually, like in my chapel, there are kneelers or chairs close to the tabernacle for prayer.

I've liked that personally because then I can be close and pray (even cry perhaps) in semi-private rather than up in front of the altar. As someone else put it to me, the altar is a place of "action" and not "reservation".

But I can see why you would be uncomfortable with its placement and I'm sure you are not alone in that sentiment. There isn't universal agreement about it...like most things in the Church I suppose ;).