As you enter the Word of God Chapel, following the curved wall, you will notice an arched doorway to your right. Here is the Tabernacle for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. It is a small space, providing seating for only about six people. Clearly and simply, the tabernacle is the focus of the room. The tabernacle has been placed here away from the main worship space in keeping with the Vatican II renewal of Eucharistic Worship in the life of the Church. Some history is especially relevant here. In the early church, there were no tabernacles. When the Christian community gathered to celebrate Eucharist, some was set aside and taken to the sacristy. The only purpose in doing this was to allow the homebound and sick to share in the community's celebration of the Eucharist.
Little by little, private devotion and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament began to develop. To accommodate this development in the Church's life, tabernacles began to appear in side chapels. However, as people found participation in the celebration of the Eucharist more and more difficult, this private devotion and prayer took on more and more importance and began to replace the actual celebration of the Eucharist in the practical spirituality of the people. Tabernacles were then moved from the side chapels onto the main altar. Unfortunately, the Church's public celebration of liturgy had deteriorated to such a point that this private devotion and prayer moved to fill the vacuum. Vatican II moved to reestablish the proper relationship between the church's public worship and this private devotion. Our placement of the tabernacle in this space, removed from the main worship space, restores this proper relationship through the architectural design of the building. In keeping with the principle that the tabernacle ought not be in the same space where the Eucharist is actually celebrated, the Reservation Chapel is a space separate from the Word of God Chapel.
Upon entering the Word of God Chapel, the door next to the Reservation Chapel entrance leads into the Reconciliation Room. It is designed as a room rather than a confessional or a box. The room provides the person who comes to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with the option of doing so in anonymity or face-to-face. Your attention is also called to the Prodigal Son wall hanging and the hand-carved crucifix.
On the wall between the entrances to the Reservation Chapel and the Reconciliation Room you will notice a sconce holding a candle. The candle will be lit when the priest is present in the Reconciliation Room. If the door is closed and the candle is lit, you will know that the priest is present, but someone in the room. If the door is ajar and the candle is lit, you will know that the priest is present and you are free to enter when you are ready.
In the pamphlet rack on the wall outside the Reservation Chapel are booklets to aid you in preparing for and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation (“How to go to Confession”).