Catholic Corner
September 17, 2021

Behind the semi-transparent wood and glass screen near the altar, is the Reservation Chapel. As the document Built of Living Stones tells us:

§ 71 § The Second Vatican Council led the Church to a fuller understanding of the relationship between the presence of the Lord in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist and in the reserved Sacrament, and of the Christian’s responsibility to feed the hungry and to care for the poor. As the baptized grow to understand their active participation in the Eucharist, they will be drawn to spend more time in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle, and be impelled to live out their relationship in active charity. In reverent prayer before the reserved Eucharist, the faithful give praise and thanksgiving to Christ for the priceless gift of redemption and for the spiritual food that sustains them in their daily lives. Here they learn to appreciate their right and responsibility to join the offering of their own lives to the perfect sacrifice of Christ during the Mass and are led to a greater recognition of Christ in themselves and in others, especially in the poor and needy.

As noted above, out of the understanding of Vatican II the focus during the celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy is upon the Altar and the full, conscious and active participation of all the baptized. It is a communal celebration ( this communal sense is the reason we remain standing as one Body until the last person receives).

The reservation of the Eucharist developed historically and remains today primarily for those who are sick and dying and then as adoration and private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. To that end, we can recognize two different areas within the space focused on the Eucharist. The Nave wherein the public communal celebrations the Eucharistic liturgy occurs and the Reservation Chapel which is a space for reservation of the Sacrament for those in need and for personal prayer and reflection. One is public/communal and the other is private/personal.

The Tabernacle and Sanctuary Lamp are unique and designed by Kerns Group Architects and Ken von Roenn, Architectural Glass Art of Louisville, KY and fabricated by Architectural Glass Art.

The Stain Glass window is designed by award winning artist Stephen Wilson of Baton Rouge, LA and takes its inspiration from the Potomac River. Look closely and see what the artist describes:

Christ’s hand is lifted above the current and His blood flows into the stream. As Christians we trade our sorrows , sickness, pain and suffering for what Christ offers us – hope, Himself. In a symbolic way the green band in this window surrounds the Tabernacle, as the rainbow surrounds His throne in Revelation.

– Stephen Wilson.