Since our small mission congregation meets in rented space we occasionally have need to travel to other churches for Divine Liturgy when our own room is not available for our use. I can't remember for the life of me where we were visiting, then, when about three quarters of the way through liturgy I saw out of the corner of my eye what I swore was a duck suspended over the altar. Because of the iconostasis and our location in relation to it, I never actually got a good look at this flying anomaly but stored the information away in the recesses of my addled mind for questioning Fr. Greg on it later.
A few weeks ago it worked its way to the front of my brain and expressed itself as "What's up with the duck?"
Turns out it's not actually a duck but a dove (well...huh...that makes a little more sense) and some churches actually use it is a vessel for the consecrated elements in exchange for a more traditional tabernacle. Not to make light of anyone's tabernacle but my initial response was to find this idea a bit, well, tacky.
My understanding of the tabernacle (admittedly a primarily Roman Catholic one) is that it represents the holy womb of the Theotokos - containing within it the full humanity and full divinity of Christ as expressed in His holy Eucharist. So if we take the Eucharist out of the "womb" and place it within the Holy Spirit (is the dove not a representation of the person of the Trinity known to us as the Holy Spirit?) isn't this some kind of convoluted twist on the filioque clause? Instead of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, He now *contains* the Son. That doesn't seem right either.
So unless someone can set me aright I will continue to think of this phenomenon as an oddity I've termed the duckernacle.