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Tabernacle

Tabernacle has several meanings:

  • In churches, a small cupboard, chest or cabinet in which consecrated communion wafers or bread are kept.

  • An alternative word for a shrine, temple or chapel.

The word 'tabernacle' is derived from the Latin word tabernaculum meaning 'tent, hut, booth'. Tabernaculum itself is a diminutive form of the word taberna, meaning 'tavern.'

The tabernacle of the nomadic Israelites was a tent draped with colourful curtains. The outside was draped with goats-hair curtains, and the roof was made from rams' skins. It was divided into two areas, separated by a curtain: the outer room, containing the seven-branched candelaber, and the inner room, also known as the 'Holy of Holies' and containing the Ark of the covenant.



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