The school CHAPELis where we gather for prayer and reflection. Because our school patron is St. Margaret Mary, who had a prayer life involved with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Its name is: The Sacred Heart Chapel. #19
These are the anointing OILS. The special place where we keep these oils is called the AMBRY. We use them for baptism, for Confirmation/Holy Orders, for the Anointing of the Sick. When the bishop blesses new altars, he covers them with Chrism, one of the oils, to anoint the altar for a special function: the sacred meal.
This is where we celebrate the meal at Mass, and offer bread and wine, representative of our lives and our participation in the sacrifice of Jesus. The ALTAR is our sacred table, the table of the Eucharistic meal and sacrifice.
Like most table cloths, ALTAR CLOTHS are a particular color and style to reflect the season /theme and the people gathered together. This one was a gift from one of our founding families, and it was hand made by nuns. The Latin reflects our heritage, and talks about what we hope happens at Eucharist: That Mass empowers us to go out and live “Caritas Christi” in the world. Possumus= We Can (we are able to be Caritas Christi!)
This cloth is laid on top of the table cloth, almost like a place mat, to make sure that “crumbs” of the consecrated HOST, Christ’s BODYafter consecration, are gathered respectfully. The CORPORAL (from the Latin, “corpus,” for body) is folded, containing any crumbs or flakes from the consecrated host and washed separately to show the special nature of its contents. #6
ThisCUPmade of precious metal or crystal holds the WINE which becomes the BLOOD of CHRIST. Because the wine becomes Blood of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, this cup is made of special material. Its fancy name, from the Latin, is CHALICE. #5
The Ciborium is like a cup or bowl with a lid. It is used to hold the consecrated hosts, or the Blessed Sacrament, the Body of Christ. So, like the chalice, it is also made of precious metal. #7
This is not just a podium or a lectern. At podiums and lecterns, people speak and present information and opinions. At the AMBO (think ambulatory, as in “to walk”), the lector does more than read the Word of God. Standing in the Word of God, the lector proclaims the Word of God that we can take with us, on our walk into life situations after Mass.
The readings, God’s Word at Mass inviting us to relationship with Him and guiding us in how we respond to His love, are found in the LECTIONARY. All of the readings, including the Gospel and Psalm, are found in this book. The lector uses it to proclaim the Word to us. #8
The priest is the presider, leading us, the people, in prayer and worship. The official book that he uses to be certain he is saying the prayers that have been picked for the day or for the Sunday is called the SACRAMENTARY. #9
The work space--away from the altar, the sanctuary, and the people—contains the vessels, like the chalice and ciborium, the candles, the unconsecrated hosts and wine, the priests’ vestments, etc. It is called the SACRISTY. (Think “sacred,” this is where we prepare to do holy things.) #10
In the SACRISTY, is a special sink, called theSACRARIUM. This is where you pour water used to wash any chalices, plates, corporals, or other items used at Mass that might contain the Body and Blood of Christ. It has a drain that goes straight to the earth, so that the water does not mix with plumbing, drainage, and sewage. #11
The THURIFERis used to incense the Church. This can include incensing the altar, the Book of the Gospels, the people, the whole sanctuary! Incense symbolizes our prayers and our hearts rising to God. On a practical level, it covered up the smells of people who might have been working all day, and the animals sometimes brought to church in the Middle Ages. #12
The TABERNACLE is the home for Jesus, usually in a special space or chapel within a larger church. We believe that Jesus is present, because the consecrated hosts are kept in the ciborium in the tabernacle. So we are prayerful, reverent and respectful. #13
Along the walls of all churches, and along the walls of our chapel, you will find paintings and/or friezes of THE WAY of the CROSS. These panels tell some of the story of Jesus’ passion and death.
All Catholic churches have some STATUES. We do not worship these statues—they are like a photograph of a good friend or memory. We use them as images that help focus our attention on the person or event behind the statue or image. By helping us focus, statues and images help us get closer to God in our thinking and prayer. This statue: THE SACRED HEART of JESUS. #15
A close-up of the Sacred Heart depicted on the statue of Jesus. Some cultures and countries have a special devotion to the Sacred Heart! #16
One of the most popular subjects for painters and sculptors has been the image of Our Lady, or the Blessed Mother, with the baby Jesus. This is because, as the Mother of God, Mary has a special place in salvation history. And, Jesus gave her to us as our spiritual mother, too! These statues are often referred to as: MADONNA with CHILD. #17
Not to be forgotten is the special man in Jesus’ life, his “stepfather,” Mary’s husband, St. Joseph. He has a special place in salvation by agreeing to be Jesus’ father on earth, and providing us with role model of someone who does God’s will. #18
In the prayer garden outside the chapel is a statue of the school patroness: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a french nun who prayed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to do the will of Christ’s heart, “Caritas Christi.” #20