is a name given to certain chapels or meeting-houses in England erected by Mr. Whitefield, and to similar places of worship reared by Robert Haldane for the accommodation of a few large congregations in Scotland, out of which have chiefly been formed the present churches of Congregational dissenters in that country.
Tabernacle is also a term applied to certain interior portions of churches, etc.:
1. A niche or hovel for an image.
2. An ambry on the right side of the altar, or behind it, for the reservation of the host, chrism, and oil for the sick.
3. A throne carried like a litter on the shoulders of Spanish priests in the procession of Corpus Christi, and supporting the host.
4. A small temple over the central part of an altar for the reservation of the eucharist, contained in the pyx, and often decorated with a crown of three circlets.
Its earliest form was a coffer of wood, or a little arched receptacle; then it became a tower of gold, or of circular shape, being a casket for the chalice and paten, in fact a ciborium. In the 15th century the tabernacle became a magnificent piece of furniture over or on the left side of the high-altar, with statues, towers, foliage, buttresses, and superb work, as at Grenoble, St. John Maurienne, Leau, Tournay, and Nuremberg, the latter sixty-four feet high, and of white stone. SEE CIBORIUM; SEE DOVE; SEE PYX.