Glossary – T


A shrine or altar found in Catholic churches and used exclusively for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. Tabernacles are made of various materials and are often beautifully decorated. They are found either in the sanctuary area beside or behind the altar or, more frequently today, in a separate chapel off the main body of the church. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the tabernacle primarily and originally for viaticum and communion to the sick, as well as for adoration.

Table of the Eucharist

See Altar.

Table of the Word

Another name for the Lectern (see above) or sometimes a small table on which the Bible is displayed in a place of honour as a sign of reverence for the Word of God.


The great Temple of Jerusalem was the centre of Jewish worship. First built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C. After the exile it was rebuilt and King Herod began substantial improvements in 19 B.C. This was the Temple that Jesus knew. In 70 A.D. it was finally destroyed by the Romans as they crushed the Jewish Revolt. Explore a 3D reconstruction of the Temple to experience its size and granduer.

The Law of Moses

See entry for Torah.


A Hebrew word meaning ‘guide’ or ‘teaching’. It is usually translated by the English word Law. The Torah consists of the first five books of the Bible, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and is the most important part of the Hebrew scriptures for Judaism. It is often called the ‘Law of Moses’ but it contains much more than legal material.


The appearance of Jesus to his disciples Peter, James and John in his glorified form (eg Matt 17:1-9). This took place on a mountain before his crucifixion and resurrection, in the presence of Moses and Elijah. The Church in New Zealand celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration on 6 August.


The word comes from Latin and means to pass on from generation to generation. It can apply either to the content of what is handed on, or to the process of handing on. In the Church, Tradition (with a capital T) refers to the living transmission of the Gospel from the Apostles through their successors to each generation. Tradition is closely bound to Sacred Scripture as they flow from the same divine source. The writing of the New Testament in the early years of the Church demonstrates the process of living tradition. Within the great Tradition are numerous traditions (with a small t). These are the ways of expressing the faith (e.g. styles of worship) which, while they may be important in various times and places, are not essential, and should not be confused with Tradition.