A Series for Making the Most of Mass
Responsibility or Option?
(Part #1 of 22)
Ever have a lab partner who just expects that you will take care of almost everything? Much as you want to get the work done, just once in a while you wish your partner would realize that he has a part to play in this as well. It’s hard to talk about with your partner because you don’t want to sound like you are whining, but at times you can feel taken advantage of. What is the solution? Probably an honest conversation about responsibility. So… let’s have some honest conversation!
For many of us, when we come to Mass we assume that someone else will make sure everything is taken care of — that everything will be provided and done well (sound familiar?). Yet, in any partnership (or community) we need to ask ourselves: “What is my responsibility/role? What should I be doing to enhance this specific celebration for myself and others?” No one is expecting people who are perfect (Lectors, Musicians, Altar Servers, Singers, EM’s, Hospitality, Sacristans, Counters, etc.), but simply people who realize the responsibility each of us has to give of ourselves in the partnership (community) as we are gifted (or even not so gifted). My primary responsibility as an Confirmed Christian is to first ask what can I offer, rather than simply to expect others to carry the load for me. This isn’t a plea because the Church needs us to volunteer. The Red Cross needs volunteers, not the Church. This is simply a note from our Catholic lab partner (this community) asking each of us: What will you bring to the next celebration?
When in Rome
(Part #2 of 22)
We know that so much of communication is nonverbal. Our body posture speaks volumes to those who see us, as well as to ourselves. The Eucharist as a celebratory meal, has much in common with other types of celebrations at which standing or sitting at certain times is dictated by many factors. Kneeling is an added posture which has deep significance as well. But of all these bodily positions at Mass, what is most important is that we are united and deliberate. Whether we are standing, sitting, or kneeling, we are called to do so in a way that doesn’t bring attention to ourselves, but enhances the communal celebration.
Different cultures and different locations necessitate some variance in posture during Mass. Given the circumstances of our worship spaces here at Duke, we have determined that standing will be the appropriate posture in all circumstances when kneeling would normally be the called for posture. Similarly, we will stand for the reception of communion, stand while others are receiving the Eucharist, and then the congregation will sit as one immediately after the last person receives from the chalice. (For more on why we do this, visit the bottom of our page: catholic.duke.edu/sacraments-worship/mass-times/)
No need to be holier than Mother Church. If the particular congregation where you are worshipping is kneeling, then kneel – if standing, then stand. Using liturgical postures as a sign of protest for what you think is best may not be the best way to celebrate Communion at Mass.
“What did I miss?”
(Part #3 of 22)
Imagine that the Holy Spirit is about to move your heart with the lyrics of the Entrance Song, and just in that moment, someone taps you on the shoulder and wants to step into your aisle because they just arrived. You may miss the lyric, the message, the moment, and the Holy Spirit!
We talk about distractions in prayer all of the time, but rarely do we consider that we can be that distraction to others’ prayer. But every time we arrive late for Mass, we can be the distraction. There is no sneaking in – someone always sees us standing in the back. And beyond our impact on others, what about what we missed – maybe the Holy Spirit desired to speak to us? Regardless, never stay away because you are late – always come – you are always welcome!! But like so much of the spiritual life, we are challenged to conversion. How can we change this dynamic for ourselves to do better and arrive early?
What we really need
(Part #4 of 22)
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Mt 6:8) I find this so comforting. Sometimes, I am so lost that I can’t even figure out what to pray for. Maybe like you, at times I am rushing to Mass from some other appointment – almost out of breath. And before I know it we have begun Mass and as if on cue, God speaks to my heart: “I know what you need!” It is called the Penitential Rite. One of the first acts of the Mass after the sign of the cross is being invited to call to mind our sins in order to prepare to celebrate the Eucharist. On its face, it seems like a somewhat negative start. But seen in the light of the Father knowing what we need, isn’t it appropriate that we first place ourselves in the loving mercy of God? Isn’t that what we really need?
Frazzled as our lives may be, when situated completely within the mercy of God we are cradled in a love that says: “I know what your need.” God’s loving mercy engulfs us at the beginning of Mass not only to forgive the sins that we all recognize, but also to pivot our minds, hearts and bodies to an experience of God’s work rather than our own. I can’t save me (or anyone else for that matter) nor can I even hope to think, act of feel all that this Eucharist that is beginning requires. In humility, I can simply call out with everyone around me: Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy, Lord, have mercy. What a great way that the liturgy, led by Christ the High Priest, acknowledges what we really need before we even ask him!
Heard in Cameron
(Part #5 of 22)
Nothing worse than a comic whose joke gets polite laughter from some but not all of the crowd. The heartier the laughter, the greater the sense of connection to the truth and the more contagious the laughter becomes. Our responses at Mass are similar. Our mumbled, whispered, or internal speech fails to fully affirm the truth of the words we speak and can tell others to remain politely respondent as well. Amen goes from “SO BE IT” to “ok I guess . . . if you say so”. The Mass is certainly not a pep rally, but nor is it museum for muted whispers. Get some air in those lungs and let’s speak like we mean it. The fuller my voice, the more I hear myself and others profess the truths which the Mass reveals. Your confidently spoken response is helpful for others next to you and around you.No one on their deathbed regrets having told others that they loved them loudly, clearly and boldly. No one regrets being hoarse the day after a Cameron experience!
Time, Talent, and Treasure
(Part #6 of 22)
Imagine going into a store to buy a Mothers’ Day card for your mom, and simply walking up to the rack, picking one out without reading it, and going to the counter to purchase and mail it. My sense is that none of us would ever do that, nor would we do that with any greeting card. We take time to read it and make sure that it reflects our sentiments for the recipient. That is what the Offertory at Mass is like when the basket comes around and we scramble to look into our purse/wallet and pull out some bill and toss it into the basket. Does it really reflect what we want to offer back to God for all that we have received? Sacrificial Giving is an important dimension of the spiritual journey that needs more time than this paragraph, but suffice it to say, that as Christian adults we need to reflect more on what we sacrifice at the Offertory so that it can be more intentional and better reflect true devotion to our God. And counting ourselves out of this intentionality because we are students is just kidding ourselves.
God has given us everything. We owe Him our very lives in return. Sometimes our gifts are summarized as our “time, talent, and treasure.” People think we only put our “treasure” in the offertory basket. We are figuratively meant to put our whole selves in that basket. My money that I have earned from work is one part of my life that I want to offer to God. I also want to offer my family, my friends, my leisure, my service,… essentially my whole self. Whether I give electronically or put money in the basket, I work to be intentional about my offering with everyone else’s offering to God. As bodily people, we give our treasure to support the Church because we require places to worship, staff to assist us, materials to guide us. All of which takes money – as anyone’s home or business does. Money that we put in the basket, along with our very selves, is a gift to the Church and it is part of our very participation in our communal life.
Happy Birthday to you . . .
(Part #7 of 22)
It’s your grandmother’s birthday and it’s time for the cake and everyone starts singing except you – you claim you can’t sing – really – who does that? Other than the US National Anthem, no song is more poorly sung than Happy Birthday, but even poorly, complete strangers will take up the tune in a restaurant for the person celebrating a few tables away. And yet at Mass, regardless of the simplicity or difficulty of the song, some of us choose not to sing. We sing God’s praise at Mass not so much for God, but for ourselves – for us and the people around us to hear ourselves uttering together those words in joyful praise. It’s not about the quality of our voices, but rather about engagement. If we don’t know the song or can’t sing, we can at least lip sync the words – join the choirs of angels in praising God. Or are we just too _________ (fill in the blank with: “uninterested”; “modest”; “busy”; “sophisticated”)?
Words are power
(Part #8 of 22)
I remember my father’s voice commanded a response – his voice had a way of calling us to action! The Word of God is similar, only immensely more powerful. The prophet Isaiah (55:11) tells us that God’s word goes out and does not return empty handed. God’s word that we hear at Mass needs to be proclaimed by lectors who appreciate that just because you can read doesn’t mean that you can proclaim God’s word. We could all critique the lectors at Mass, but we should rather take a look at how we listen to the Word during Mass. Reading from a missal while the Word is being proclaimed is not the answer (who reads a text when someone is speaking to them?). Rather, reading the Sunday scriptures prior to coming to Mass can go a long way to making listening to God speaking to us a more meaningful moment. Being really dialed in during the readings also helps. And by the way lectors, remember that God is using your voice – proclaim like it!
What does reverence sound like?
(Part #9 of 22)
I attended a Catholic conference recently where one of the hotel ballrooms was transformed into a Chapel complete with the Blessed Sacrament reserved in a tabernacle. As one entered, a sign had been pinned on the doors that read: “Out of reverence for God present in the Blessed Sacrament, please remain quiet inside the Chapel.” It made me question: “Is God only revered in silence?” If so, much of our liturgical worship all over the globe is rather irreverent. Might it not have been better stated: “Out of respect for those who are looking for a quiet place to pray, please remain quiet inside the Chapel.” How should we handle this issue before and after Mass on Sundays?
There are those who prefer silence, and those who prefer conversational engagement with others. How does the Church respond to these seemingly opposed realities? The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states that “it is a praiseworthy practice for silence to be observed in the church,… so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred celebration in a devout and fitting manner.”(45) Getting ready for Mass requires concentration – silence really helps that. However, silence is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Keeping that in mind, and realizing that greeting those around you (unless they appear in prayer) can also achieve an end of being disposed to carry out the sacred celebration devoutly. Some common sense here should apply. Bring your jubilant self into the pew with you, connect with those around you, and allow silence to engulf you as you prepare for the great action of God’s love in the Eucharist!
What’s the hurry?
(Part #10 of 22)
When we leave Mass before the end of the Recessional Song are we saying anything by our action? It could communicate that we have something more important to get to than this celebration. It can communicate that the Eucharist is all we needed to get, rather than what we are there to be (the one united Body of Christ in communion). Think about the things it is ok to leave early: a game that your team has lost; a party when you have a better invitation. Think about the things that we never leave early: a whodunit movie; a baseball perfect game; an awards banquet where we are being honored. The deepening of connection in Christian community often happens after Mass with one another. What real life and death difference is made by our leaving 10 minutes early? It might help if we don’t plan to attend things that we can’t get to without cutting out early. We do this all the time with things that are important. Our actions speak volumes – let’s make sure they say what we want them to say!
What counts at Mass?
(Part #11 of 22)
Walking up to receive communion at Mass is on of the most simple acts we make at Mass and yet one of the most profound. We walk not alone, but with others in “communion”. Doing this together we say yes to a faith we all share, making us one Body in Christ. We bow (or genuflect) before reception out of reverence – one not more reverent than the other – but purposefully thinking “I honor the real presence of Christ before me!” We receive the precious Body of Christ as we say AMEN (So be it) as our response to God’s great gift of Himself. We then do the same with Jesus’ Precious Blood. Receiving both species, while not necessary, reinforces the fullness of the sign that the Eucharist portrays as a Supper – the Last Supper.
For too many Catholics, this moment is a disconnected high point of the Mass with little connection to the rest of the ritual. Some go as far as to ask when is the latest they can arrive for Mass to “count”. And yet to understand the fullness of the Eucharist, is to be willing to partake of something greater that begins well before we arrive at Mass and lasts well after we leave. Reception of the Eucharist is special, but to fail to appreciate its place in the larger context of the Mass is to strip down a grace to its bare essentials. Appreciating the communal nature of receiving the Eucharist (it connects me to the larger Body of Christ here and beyond) as well as broadening the importance that the Eucharist evokes (from my preparation before I come to Mass to my demeanor well after I have left Church), is the only way to be more open to the grace of the sacrament – what really counts. What needs to change/be strengthened in my habits at Mass to fulfill all the Christ intended when he said “Take this all of you and eat/drink . . . Do this in memory of me”?
“I must be in the front row!”
(Part #12 of 22)
It is interesting to note where people sit in common spaces. If we come with others it is acceptable to sit together, but if we come by ourselves, we tend to sit by ourselves. Front row seats are great for basketball, special events (royal weddings), and in airplanes (with the rest of the first class passengers). But somehow in Church, the front pew is reserved for someone other than me. What would God need to do to get you to consider sitting up front? Miraculously appear? Oh, wait…! Some of us feel unworthy in Church and thus want to lay low. When we better appreciate that connecting to others is why Christ instituted the Eucharist (that we all might be one as He and the Father are one), maybe then we will get over our self-imposed isolation. Remember what communion really means and experience it fully, up front, and personal with others.
Have I got an invitation for you!
(Part #13 of 22)
The heart of the human person desires to share our lives with others, especially the things that matter most to us. The explosion of social media is a testament to this phenomenon – the things we love we want other people to love as well. The dynamic of photography is not just for us to capture the moment for our own memory, but equally and sometimes more so to share it with those we care about. Is the celebration of our faith in worship the exception? Why might we tend to shy away from inviting someone to come and worship with us on Sunday?
For some, religion is a private thing that suggests it not be shared. For others, it is the fear of being rejected – what if I get turned down? And for still others, going to Mass hasn’t moved beyond the threshold of what I do out of obligation, and inviting someone to something that we only feel obligated to do has all of the appeal of inviting someone to the dentist! Our willingness to invite others to come with us from time to time can be a point of reflection or litmus test for how we really feel and what we really believe about our Eucharistic worship. Private, fearful, obligation – the Eucharist is greater than all of these combined and compels us beyond our self-imposed or even cultural limits to invite others. I am always inspired by those friends who in Luke 5:17ff lowered their buddy through the roof to see Jesus for healing. Are we willing to go to such lengths for our friends and family?
Is it noteworthy?
(Part #14 of 22)
It is interesting to see how journals have become very in vogue. From moleskin covered to more simple small copy books, the digital age has seen a pendulum swing in a resurgence of the old pen and paper. I wonder if the concern over cyber security has people looking to record their more personal thoughts in a more traditional manner that is less likely to be hacked. Regardless, finding ways to record our thoughts in writing is a proven way of giving them staying power as well as greater power to transform us. If that is true, why aren’t more people taking notes during Mass?
This isn’t a pitch from an egotistical priest who thinks that his every word is worthy of note, but rather the humble recognition that in prayer I am often moved to insights that I want/need to remember. Don’t imagine that jotting some things in a journal or even on your phone during Mass is somehow inappropriate. On the contrary, many of our fellow Christians have long been accustomed to jotting notes even directly in their bibles during worship. Can it go to far, of course – virtue always lies in the middle. But let us consider having something at the ready during Mass in case the Spirit moves us to jot down a thought, a prayer, a conviction, or any insight that might allow the Holy Spirit to continue this work in us long after the Mass is ended.
“Bless his/her heart!”
(Part #15 of 22)
You can probably name the 7 Sacraments, but can you name 3 or more sacramentals? What are “sacramentals” you ask? The Catechism defines them as “sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church.” While some identify sacramentals more with the objects that are used (rosaries, scapulars, stations), they are more appropriately understood as the blessing that is actually celebrated in prayer with these objects – all for the purpose of habituating ourselves to God’s grace that is uniquely present in the 7 Sacraments! A sacramental that is often overlooked is the use of Holy Water.
In most Catholic churches there is a Holy Water font at the entrance. The water in these fonts is blessed by a priest/deacon and is positioned at the entrance of church to remind us of our Baptism – when we first entered the Church. We are invited to dip our right hand in the font and make the sign of the cross on ourselves (to bless ourselves). We could enhance this practice when entering a church to add a spontaneous prayer asking God to remind us of our baptismal promises. When we leave church and do the same, we could add another spontaneous prayer to remind us of Jesus great Commission that sends us forth to baptize the nations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The connection of sacramental to Sacrament here is clear. How might other sacramentals enhance our experience of the Sacraments?
Ritual helps – really!
(Part #16 of 22)
It is amazing how ritually oriented most human beings are. Just think about your morning routine – for the most part we get ready for the day in pretty much the same way. There is comfort in the ritual, and not having to think about it too much can be a blessing and a curse. The same is true of ritual worship. Roman Catholicism is known for its rituals which can similarly be both positive and negative. Being a religion that highlights the sacramental life as the concrete ways in which God gives grace, it is important that ritual needs to be an essential part as we witness the divine being made present amidst our human reality. The Eucharistic Prayers are beautiful examples of ritual prayer that roots our worship. But do we appreciate the blessing of the ritual, or are we too bored by or lost in its sameness?
While the readings and some of the prayers change each Sunday, the Eucharistic Prayers are the same. There are 8 of them that can be used but 4 that get used the most and many of us can recite parts of them by heart. Catholics believe that words are important, and words in sacraments effect what they represent – they make real what they say as they are said. Belief in that truth requires then an attention to not just any words, but these words – much the way math and science formulas or musical notation have a specificity that is critical. We are called to listen to those words with an attention to detail – an awe and reverence for the eternal that is being made real in this finite world of ours. So when we find ourselves spacing out or looking for something a bit more exciting/engaging, listen to the words of the Eucharistic prayer anew, recognizing that given the awesomeness of what is happening on the altar, we wouldn’t want to miss a word!
More than just a passing grade
(Part #17 of 22)
When I came to North Carolina I had to get my NC driver’s license and at the time, they required taking a written test. I was offered the Driver’s Ed book to prep for the test, to which I arrogantly replied “I’ve been driving for over 30 years, I think I am prepared for the test.” The test allowed 12 incorrect answers to pass and I got 12 wrong. I passed, – barely! Many people think about preparing for Mass the same way: “I’ve been going to Mass all my life, what do I need to prepare!” While in no way a test, the Mass calls for preparation in order to experience it fully and give God the reverence that is due. Can God still work when we don’t prepare well? Certainly! But much the way a $2 scratch off lottery ticket that wins $5 and a PowerBall winning lottery number that nets $43mil are both winners, one is worth much more than the other. Which would you prefer?
What are some ways you can prepare for Mass? Reading the readings in advance; select a Mass time that doesn’t require you to run out right after to get somewhere else; Give prayerful consideration to what your contribution should be (10% tithe?) during the offertory; arrive 10 minutes early to greet others and get situated; pray in silence for the grace to engage the sacrament well and to pray for your needs; acknowledge the things that may distract you during Mass and ask God’s help to focus: ask yourself if you need to bolster some of your Mass habits (responding with a strong voice, singing, etc.). Be prepared and get beyond just passing so that the celebration of the Mass will have an impact exponentially more gratifying than a winning PowerBall ticket!
Peace: sign or reality?
(Part #18 of 22)
It is interesting to watch the “Sign of Peace” at Mass from the altar. There is so much interaction among the folks in the pews, but I wonder if it is understood in the context of something more broad than simply greeting those around us. Its origins are in Scripture (eg. Mt 5:23-24) where Jesus exhorts us to be reconciled with one another before we come to the altar. And so, before we receive the gift of Christ’s unifying body from the altar, we let go of any animus that we have with anyone, symbolized by the sharing of peace with those around us. A handshake, a hug, a kiss, all beautiful and appropriate. But if done more out of courtesy (or socializing) than a deeper desire to let go of the resentments that I hold onto (or hold onto me!), then it can become a waste of time. Extending peace to the person next to us while harboring resentment to our friend (parent, roommate, spouse, sibling, etc.) who is not there is a shallow show that cheapens the symbolic nature of the moment.
I can’t open my hands to receive Christ’s body while my hands are wrapped tightly around the animosity that I hold onto for dear life. We often marvel at the places around the world that are beset by seemingly intractable discontent, and we wonder why people can’t just live in peace. That place is around the world because it is in my heart first and foremost. May I welcome Christ’s peace from others as a mollifying grace that will allow me to let go of the rancor that hardens my heart, so that I can extend my hands and welcome the Prince of Peace into my life in the Eucharist.
What we are looking for or what God is looking for?
(Part #19 of 22)
“Pray for me!” How often do we ask people to pray for us or do we ask others to pray for us? For some of us this never happens while for others it happens all of the time. Regardless, we all pray for some intervention on God’s part in our lives. It is probably the most common form of prayer shared by all monotheistic believers: “Hey God, I need a favor!” Similarly, we come to Mass sometimes with a bit of a laundry list of needs and other times with only one really big thing that we are praying for. While there is no limit to these prayers, we all join together in this prayer of intercession after the Creed in what the Church calls the “Universal Prayer”.
These petitions which are usually read by a lector and responded to by the congregation with the words “Lord, hear our prayer”, have a pattern and flow that are important. We usually begin by praying for the universal Church, the people of God, world leaders, the sick and suffering, particular needs, and lastly the deceased. It is important to remember that I am not there just for my own prayers, but also to pray with others (those present and not) for their needs as well. The action of placing our needs before the Lord as we have just reflected upon his Word and are now about to offer his sacrifice of love in the Eucharist, reminds us that this celebration is the perfect sacrificial offering to which we want to attach all of our needs. Christ died for these needs – with all of them in mind. How God responds to these prayers is part of the divine mystery of the economy of salvation. While the answer is what we are looking for, the offering is what God is looking for: a humbled heart that knows that only God can save!
Exclusive or honest?
(Part #20 of 22)
Just read an awesome book by Dempsey & Brafman called “Radical Inclusion”. Great leadership insights from two guys (one of whom is the former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs who worships with us on Sunday mornings!) who realize that engaging others at multiple levels is a key to deeper investment throughout any organization. Just the title signals a theme that our culture may want in theory, but struggles to create in practice. If the word “catholic” means “universal”, then can we expect that the Catholic Church would be ‘radically inclusive’? To listen to many, you might think that the Church is just the opposite.
One area where Catholic inclusion takes a bad rap is at Communion. While many Christian denominations have what is referred to as an “opentable” policy (all are invited to receive communion), Catholicism requires that one be baptised Catholic and free of mortal sin. The latter is a decision of the individual in conscience – since the last time I went to confession, have I committed a mortal sin? If so, I am already not in communion and need sacramental confession to celebrate the healing unity of forgiveness. If one is not the former, are Catholics just being snooty and exclusive? Not at all, in fact, we are simply being honest. Until we are all in communion of faith (we publicly profess belief in the same things), we shouldn’t fake it by receiving the thanksgiving sacrament of our unity as one in the Body of Christ.
Neither of these are exclusionary. Rather, they are an acknowledgement of the work yet to be done to bridge the gaps that sin and division have sown in the Church. It is not inclusive to simply pretend that those breaches are not real, rather it is inauthentic to fake a unity that doesn’t yet exist. We should never skip the hard work of healing to appear to be inclusive.
(Part #21 of 22)
Baseball is the only sport where the coaches dress in the same uniform as the players. Maybe it is because some of them are actually positioned on the field of play during the game (albeit in foul territory). Regardless, it is a tradition that has withstood the test of time even while coaches in other sports have shifted between style and comfort. Does it really matter what you wear if you are not a player?
I think that same question comes up for all of us as we decide what to wear to Mass. Some of us make our dress decisions around issues of comfort or style, while still others go for convenience (put on what I need to wear for something I’m doing before or after Mass) or indifference (I’ve never really given it much thought). And then there is the question if I am a player (EM, Lector, etc.), or just a spectator who most probably won’t even be noticed for what I am wearing. Without getting too fastidious about such things, can we all agree that the clothes we wear speak. The question becomes: “What do I want to say?”
The priests vestments speak. The color of vestments convey the season or feast while the chasuble, stole and alb are all ancient in their meaning (that description is for another day). Even if we may not understand the meaning, we want the priest to look a certain way – he is a player after all. Maybe that is what needs to be addressed most in this context: do I need to see myself more as a player at Mass? We are all players at Mass and as such, what we wear says something to God and to others. While everyone is always welcome regardless of what they are wearing, maybe we can all ask ourselves if our clothes at Mass are saying what we really want to say.
(Part #22 of 22)
For years I have found that people will apologize in my presence if they curse or use an off color expression or joke. When I was younger it made me uncomfortable, when I was more interested in being just like everybody else. But as I got older, I realized that if my presence made people want to be more careful in their speech and action, then my being there was a blessing. I do believe that the presence of certain people can place us in a particular frame of mind. It is the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, reserved in the tabernacle in churches and chapels that can makes an infinitely greater difference in our lives.
There is so much to say about why Catholics reserve hosts consecrated at Mass in a tabernacle. The history alone of how this developed in our faith could take books to relate. But our reverence for the Christ presence in the Eucharist reserved in the tabernacle does make a difference that is powerful and visceral. We genuflect to Christ in the tabernacle when we enter and leave Church. Praying before the tabernacle takes on meaning that is different than any other place. The Blessed Sacrament is at the ready for those who are sick or dying. All of these are special ways in which Christ’s presence can continue to impact our lives long after the Mass is over. While in no way a substitution for the great celebration of the Mass (source and summit of our faith), it remains a unique and special component of the Catholic faith that can unite us to Christ and one another anywhere around the world that we see that vigil candle lit in a Church next to the tabernacle, signaling the real presence of Jesus. At Duke, there is a tabernacle in Memorial Chapel (left side Chapel in Duke Chapel); for Sunday morning Mass we bring a tabernacle into Goodson Chapel; and a tabernacle in the Chapel in the Falcone-Arena House – all for us to spend time with Jesus whenever we want.