4

It is an old tradition in Catholicism to make the sign of the cross when passing a Catholic church, as a sign of respect to the Eucharist contained in the tabernacle, located within the Church.

I am wondering:

  1. Do Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Church of the East also have tabernacles in their churches?
  2. If they do, is it appropriate for a Catholic to make the sign of the cross when passing these churches?
5

It is also a tradition for some Catholics to make the sign of the cross when passing in front of cemeteries, whether a Catholic one or otherwise. Of course there would be some of the faithful departed in many of these cemeteries I imagine.

Seeing that the Orthodox Church does have valid sacraments which includes the Eucharist, it would be appropriate for a Catholic to make the sign of the cross when passing in front of a Orthodox church in order to show an external sign of respect of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the consecrated host.

Yes, The Orthodox Churches have tabernacles in their churches (No. 8) as this image from Wikipedia shows:

Orthodox church building

3

Of course Eastern Orthodox church, like Russian, or Greek, have the tabernacles of Eucharist gifts in their churches. Orthodox christians called it as kibot (ru: Кивот, gr: κῑβωτός). It is always resided at the altar. Frequently, in modern time it has a form of mini church. Usually tabernacles is being covered with a glass hood, and the only bishops, priests, and deacons can touch the tabernacles.

The origin the of tabernacles is very ancient. In 4-th century many church writes note about a pidgins, which the Eucharist gist is kept in. Since the oriental churches, and churches of East, dissociated much later (in 5-6 cen.) it is allowed to think that they are also kept the ancient tradition to use the tabernacles.

3

Although the Orthodox are, in the traditional Catholic view, schismatic, they do have valid priestly orders, which means they are able to validly consecrate the Eucharist, so I don't see what would be wrong with making the sign of the cross out of respect for the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist in these churches.

  • 1
    Happy to accept but I'm still wondering, do these churches store their eucharist in a tabernacle within the church? I peeked in a Greek Orthodox church yesterday and didn't notice anything resembling a tabernacle. Perhaps it was behind the iconostasis? Perhaps they consume all of the hosts at their service and there are no leftovers to store, in which it seems ambiguous whether i should make the sign of the cross – TheIronKnuckle Mar 14 '17 at 23:24
  • 2
    @TheIronKnuckle A show of respect is never out of order. You could even, in the spirit of Christ, utter a small prayer of hope that we (Catholics) may be reconciled with our estranged Greek Orthodox brethren sooner rather than later. That's the kind of thing that Jesus might do. – KorvinStarmast Mar 15 '17 at 1:02
  • 2
    @TheIronKnuckle You are right in your guess, the Eucharist is stored in the altar, behind the iconostasis. – arrowd Mar 15 '17 at 4:38
  • That is not scientific correct language, in sight of view of cathilicism, orthodoxy are schism, but in orthodox sight of view catholicism is a heresy, which is much worser. – Малъ Скрылевъ Mar 15 '17 at 10:28
  • 1
    @Geremia - there are many Catholic teachings that are claimed to be wrong by the Orthodox Church. The most important would be: Filioque; the purgatory; papal supremacy and infallibility; the Immaculate Conception; indulgences; clerical celibacy – Andrei E May 10 '17 at 11:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.