What is Eucharistic Adoration?
The Eucharist is the physical Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and it is one of seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, whereby bread and wine are completely transubstantiated into the real presence of Christ. During Eucharistic Adoration, the Eucharist is displayed in a monstrance (a vessel used in Roman Catholicism to display the consecrated Eucharist) flanked by candles in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and adored by the faithful.
Why is Adoration so important?
Adoration is YOUR personal time with Jesus Christ. It integrates the entire faith community of St. Thomas More into prayer, uniting us in our intentions and concerns, increasing our prayer time and devotion. Many miracles and blessings have been associated with adoration.
What blessings / miracles are associated with Adoration?
Documented blessings include: increased vocations to the priesthood from parishes with adoration, increased parish-wide goodwill offerings, both monetarily and in volunteerism, healing of troubled marriages, healing of diseases and sickness including some that were medically incurable, increase of morals and return of lost sheep, deeper personal understanding of the mysteries of our faith, and an unshakable inner peace.
Frequently Asked Questions about Eucharistic Adoration
Q: I already go to Mass every Sunday, pray privately at home, and try to be a good person. Why should I go to adoration? Isn’t Christ in each of us? God hears my prayers even at home already, right?
A: Yes, Christ is in all these things, and all these things are good. The reason we go to Adoration is similar to why we go to Church: to worship as communion/community and to build our relationship with God and others. We find our spiritual nourishment, and we encounter God. The Eucharist at its pinnacle is the consecration and consumption, becoming our spiritual food, but it also is so much more than that. Because Christ is dually both God and man, one cannot separate the divine nature from the physical. The consecrated host becomes truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus. While many struggle with this great mystery, both today and in Jesus’s time, it is part of the foundation of the Catholic Church, and the basis for Eucharistic Adoration.
Q: What is the difference in having Christ in the Tabernacle versus Christ in the Monstrance?
A: The Monstrance allows for a more personal experience with Christ in the Eucharist. God gives the Church the sacraments because he seeks to interact with us physically as well as spiritually. In the same way that a visit would be more personal than a phone call or email, spending time with Him near the monstrance, gives us real personal time that we just cannot experience in prayer alone or hidden by the tabernacle. We exalt Christ and honor his sacrifice when we display the Eucharist. We can see the elevated demand placed on protecting the Eucharist when in exposition and that should give us a notion of the intimacy that comes from that same vulnerability.
Q: How does Adoration work at St. Thomas More?
A: Eucharistic Adoration is every Thursday from 12:30 PM to 8:30 PM, and adorers can either choose to commit for the same hour each Thursday, or they can simply stop by for a visit, no commitment required.
Q:What is the time requirement of adoration?
A: Adorers make a commitment to the Lord to be with him for a one hour time frame on the same hour each week. Adorers may take as many of these one hour shifts as they like, but need to commit to that same hour every week.
Q: Why is it so important that someone is always present?
A: In the Catholic Church, we have many sacramentals: the rosary, holy water, the bible, a crucifix, statues of Angels and Saints, etc. These are holy items that are given due respect for what they represent. The Eucharist is not a sacramental, but a sacrament. It is not just an item that reminds us of Christ, but it is the physical body of Christ himself. The exposition in the monstrance leaves Christ vulnerable and must be properly attended at ALL times. Just as a Marine would never leave the body of an another fallen Marine behind, faithful Catholics would never leave Christ’s Body unattended, EVER.
I’ve never done Perpetual Adoration before! What do I do?
Q: What is the proper attire for adoration?
A: Whatever is comfortable, but be conscious of the presence of the Lord.
Q: What do I do in adoration?
A: You have a lot of choices here. You may pray an informal prayer, sit in silence, read a book (a chapel library will be available soon), pray the rosary, meditate on the Eucharist, contemplate the saint’s lives, just clear your head, listen to a recording of your favorite Catholic speaker quietly through your headphones, etc. The key is general reverence with an emphasis on quiet. This is not a competition to see who can be the most pious, but this is YOUR personal time with God. If God was not behind the veil of the Eucharist, what would you do? Christ says we are no longer servants but friends, so just spend some time with your friend. He loves you and is calling you.
Q: How do I genuflect during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament?
A: The Vatican states that proper respect is shown by bending down with our right knee until it touches the ground with a slight pause to show our humility and reverence before God. This is still the rule even during exposition, although the common practice is to bow on two knees when before the monstrance. The attitude with what you do it with is more important than the form, and it should never be done for show. Additionally, if your knees are bad, you should not worry about this at all.
Q: Can I bring my kids?
A: Yes, absolutely. Adoration is for kids and whole families too. Just make sure that they are old enough to understand how to be quiet. Kids under the legal age cannot be assigned an hour on their own, but they may adore with their family.