Q: I have begun service as a deacon at a different parish that has the tabernacle centered on the wall behind the altar (the traditional sanctuary layout).
When I cross from my chair to the ambo, should I bow toward the altar or to the Real Presence in the tabernacle?
A. Genuflections to the tabernacle are made only at the beginning and the end of mass, never during the middle. If you are carrying the Book of the Gospels in procession, then you do not even genuflect to the tabernacle at the beginning of mass.
When crossing from your chair to the other side of the sanctuary during mass, you make a low bow to the altar, not a genuflection to the tabernacle. The altar is the center of gravity throughout the mass.
You never bow to the tabernacle. When you make a reverence toward it, you genuflect. (Unless, of course, you are infirm.)