The word “Eucharist” means thanksgiving. Eucharistic Adoration is an act of thanksgiving and worship to Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour, truly present in the Holy Eucharist. In every Mass the Catholic faith teaches that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at the Consecration. St. Alphonsus Liguori noted, "of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us."
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What is the importance of Eucharistic adoration?
Eucharistic adoration is the respect and worship we give to Jesus, who is truly present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. The Eucharist is a priceless treasure; by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace. As St. Alphonsus Liguori noted, "of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us." [CCC 1418]
What are the fruits of Eucharistic adoration?
People who observe Eucharistic adoration experience a deeper devotion to Jesus, and this manifests itself in countless ways. The primary fruits are repentance and conversion which lead to increased charity - that is, the love of Christ alive in His people. The adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist also leads to greater reverence at Mass, a deeper desire for personal holiness, and a stronger sense of union with the parish and the whole Church. Ever since the early centuries of Christianity, the Church has linked Eucharistic devotion to service to the poor. More recently, the practice has lead to an increase in vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life.
What forms does this adoration take?
We show our adoration in many ways. The most intimate form of adoration is Holy Communion, when we receive Jesus' body into our own. The most common and ordinary way we adore Jesus is by genuflecting - that is, kneeling briefly on one knee - whenever we pass the tabernacle in a church (see Philippians 2:10). Outside the Mass, the Church gives us further opportunities to worship Jesus. We may visit Him at the tabernacle. And we may adore Him when the Sacrament is brought out from the tabernacle for public worship. This is commonly called "exposition." [CCC 1378]
What is exposition of the Blessed Sacrament?
Exposition is the placement of the sacred host outside the tabernacle for public adoration. This can take many forms. The simplest form is the opening of the tabernacle doors. Another form is the removal of the sacred vessels from the tabernacle for a more prominent and visible placement. The Church also permits a "full" exposition, when the sacred host is clearly visible in a vessel called a "monstrance."
What is the purpose of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament?
There are three purposes of Eucharistic exposition: (1) to acknowledge Christ's marvelous presence in the sacrament; (2) to lead us to a fuller participation in the celebration of the Eucharist, culminating in Holy Communion; and (3) to foster the worship which is due to Christ in spirit and in truth.
How long have Christians practiced Eucharistic adoration?
Christians have adored the Eucharist as long as the Church has celebrated the Eucharist - that is, from the time of the Apostles. The earliest texts that speak of the Mass are probably older than some of the New Testament books. In every generation since the generation of the Apostles, the Church Fathers wrote about Jesus' real presence in the Eucharist. In the second, third, and fourth centuries, Christians in lands as far-flung as Italy, Egypt, North Africa, and Cappadocia (modern-day Turkey) testify to the special care given to the Eucharist that was reserved for the sick and homebound.
What is proper etiquette during Eucharistic adoration?
When we are not taking part in vocal prayers and hymns with other adorers, we should be praying silently. Whenever we pass before the place where the Sacred Host is reserved, we should genuflect. We should observe the modest dress and decorum that are appropriate to very solemn occasions. We should avoid any actions that might disturb or distract others or draw attention to ourselves rather than Jesus.
How should we pray during Eucharistic adoration?
There are many ways to pray. We may meditate silently by gazing on the sacred host. We may silently speak to Jesus from our mind and heart. We may also rely on devotions and prayers from Catholic tradition, such as the reading of Scripture, recitation of the rosary, or the litanies. When two or more are gathered before the Sacrament, they may pray or sing hymns together.
What is the best way to promote Eucharistic adoration?
The best way to promote Eucharistic adoration is by doing it! Make frequent visits to Jesus at the tabernacle. Invite your spouse, your children, your neighbors, and co-workers to join you. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, "Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, He is to be honored with the worship of adoration. "To visit the Blessed Sacrament is...a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord"(CCC 1418).