A word from the Latin language; for Romans it was a hut or tent where the priests of their pagan religion brought omens or signs to the assembly of the people for interpreting the will of the gods towards them. Then in Christian times, this word was used to designate the enclosure where the priests reserve in sight of the Assembly (Church) of the people the Blessed Sacrament: the Body (and Blood) of Jesus Christ - the Real Presence of the Risen Lord - in the consecrated bread (and wine). Jesus is faithful and true, ever present among the members of his Mystical Body, and He is the revelation of God the Father's Will of Love, in Mercy and Justice, towards us and for all humanity.
Because Jesus is truly and always present as long as even one small consecrated host or fragment of host is kept, we are to show our love, honor, praise and adoration for Jesus whenever we enter or leave the church, (can be done just outside the bench or pew), open or close the Tabernacle, or pass by it, by genuflecting: going down on one knee to show the Lord our surrender and obedience at all times. Reserved primarily for the sick, the Blessed Sacrament also gives the Church assurance and focus for adoration.
This particular tabernacle comes originally from St. Mary's Parish, closed in the late 1960's where the CBC building is in downtown Montreal. St. Philip Neri Mission who had kept it in the hope of building their own church gave it to us in 1987, during the restoration after the November 1986 fire destroyed our first tabernacle.
Tabernacle (Children's version)
A Latin word meaning hut or tent. In it our priests reserve the Body of Christ, the consecrated hosts left over after Holy Communion. During the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and through the priest's repetition of his words at the Last Supper, Jesus changes the bread and wine into his Body and Blood - his Risen Body - so that He can give Himself to us to nourish our soul, forgive our sins and heal our hurts, and share with us his Eternal Life, in Holy Communion.
This Bread of Life is reserved so that our priests and Ministers of the Eucharist can bring Jesus to the sick after Mass is over. Because Jesus is really here, we can always be close to Him when we come, and we show Jesus our love and adoration by genuflecting whenever we enter or leave the church, or the tabernacle is opened, or we pass by. Going down on one knee is the way we say to Jesus: "You are the Son of God, my Lord, my King and Savior. I love and worship you!"
A fire destroyed our first tabernacle in November 1986, and in 1987 St. Philip Neri Mission gave us this one; which they got from St. Mary Parish (which is now closed).