The Spiritual Meaning of the Tabernacle

What is the spiritual meaning of the tabernacle?

Short answerThe tabernacle, a term derived from Latin meaning ‘hut’ or ‘tent,’ represents a sacred dwelling place in various religions. In Christian faiths, it houses the Holy Communion, symbolizing a spiritual dwelling akin to how Mary hosted the Son of God. It is also seen as metaphorical of the human body, with less precious exterior materials and valuable items inside, emphasizing the importance of inner beauty and the soul.


The Tabernacle is one of the most important religious and spiritual symbols, and in this article, we will be looking into the different meanings that stem from various religions around this item.

There are a few different definitions of the tabernacle, depending on which religious viewpoint you are looking at it from.

The word tabernacle derives from a Latin word meaning hut or tent, and in many ways, this is an accurate definition – it is a receptacle of one form or another that holds important religious items.

The Spiritual Meaning of the Tabernaclespiritual meaning of the tabernacle

In Christian religions that honor the Holy Communion – the act in which Jesus and his disciples at the last supper are honored – the tabernacle is used to hold the sacred offering of the Eucharist (otherwise known as the Holy Communion) and is most often a very beautiful box structure made out of precious metals, stones or wood.

The Holy Communion in Christianity is a very sacred devotional act, and the tabernacle hosts the elements that make this up.

It is, therefore, one of the most highly spiritual items in this religion, so much so that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is often referred to as the tabernacle, for she was the host to the Son of God in the same way the tabernacle is host to the Holy Communion.

In ancient Roman religions and documented in the Hebrew Bible, however, the tabernacle is used to describe a tent-like dwelling, a fixed or movable structure that creates a sanctuary and place of worship.

It is referred to as ‘the tent of meaning’ and is thought to have been where God met Moses and the people to reveal his will.

With this definition, it can be understood why many would flock to this place of importance in order to be close to receiving divine messages from Him.

It is believed that God actually created the tabernacle, with its design and construction overseen by Him, divided into two rooms for people to pray and surrender.

The tabernacle in this definition is said not to have been required after Solomon’s Temple was erected.

The reason for the creation of a more permanent structure of the Temple was in order to ensure that upon Christ’s undoubted return again to this world, there should be a permanent place for Him to reside, rather than the more temporary structure of the tabernacle.what's a tabernacle

Both of these definitions, then, are focused on the dwelling of something – God or the Eucharist – and this is exactly what the tabernacle represents, a place of Holy dwelling, where highly important religious symbols are held and protected.

On a more deeply spiritual level, to look at the tabernacle in the form of its temporary structure, it is metaphorical of the human body.

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The tabernacle was commonly made from linens and cloth – very flimsy and impermanent resources that are relatively weak and certainly not precious. Inside the tabernacle, however, were often placed highly prized items made of gold and silver – a juxtaposition of highly valuable goods inside a less precious exterior.

This is representative of the human body and mind and the belief in many religions and cultures that it’s what is inside that really counts. Whilst our human forms are beneficial whilst here on Earth, the soul is what is important – as can be seen in the story of Christ, living long past his time here on Earth in spirit.

The tabernacle, therefore, serves as a reminder not to place too much emphasis on the externals of appearance or vanity but instead to cultivate inner beauty, peace, and compassion for yourself and those around you.

In addition to this, insight can also be gained from the process of creating the tabernacle as a process of transformation and new energy, with guidance being given from a higher place.

It is believed, as mentioned previously, that God himself designed the tabernacle, in particular choosing the internal makeup of the dwelling, and that the people were simply following his guidance as to how to build it.

In today’s spiritual community and understanding, this can be easily and helpfully interpreted as receiving divine guidance from the Universe, Source, or even God – depending on where your religious or non-religious affiliations lie – to manifest something into reality here.meaning of tabernacle

To continue on with this, it is clear to see many links between traditional religion and more modern spirituality, which does not make any claim to any God in particular.

Commonly a spiritual leaning incites an opening up to receiving wisdom from your higher self, to receive ‘downloads’ from your Spirit Guides and Angels as to what to do and what to create, very much aligned with the guidance believed to be received by people in many religions across the world.

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Bottom Line

Finally, to provide a more general understanding of what the tabernacle represents it is simply a place of connection and reflection, which is highly prized in today’s society, where it can be more difficult to find the time and/or space to stop and meditate on things that are happening in your life.

The tabernacle was originally created as a place to connect with God – a sacred place of connection to a guiding force – and its creation is a reminder to us now to create these sacred spaces within our own lives.

In particular, if you are on a spiritual journey of discovery, take the time to create a sacred space of your own, place beloved items there, and honor yourself by this small act of devotion to something greater than you.

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