Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Participation in the Eucharist is “the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10). The Lord accompanies us first and foremost when we participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass – that is, when we unite our very selves with the one sacrifice of his Body and Blood offered once and for all, for us and for our salvation, and then receive him in Holy Communion.

The Lord also accompanies us by being present to us in the Blessed Sacrament so that we can adore him and be blessed by his very presence. He then sends us forth by his grace to accompany others so that together we can embrace his coming among us at the Incarnation, welcome his coming among us here and now, particularly through the liturgy and sacraments of the Church, and prepare for his coming among us again at the end of time.

Therefore, “prayer before Christ the Lord sacramentally present extends the union with Christ which [we] have reached in communion. It renews the covenant which in turn moves [us] to maintain in [our] lives what [we] have received by faith and by the sacraments” (Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, 81).

            The Blessed Sacrament may simply be adored as it is reserved in the tabernacle. It may be exposed in the ciborium with at least two candles lighted and the optional use of incense. The Blessed Sacrament may also be exposed in the monstrance with four to six candles lighted, as at Mass, the use of incense, and Benediction (Ibid., 85). In any case, the norms for Worship of the Holy Eucharist Outside Mass are to be followed.

During adoration a period of silence before the Lord should be observed to become aware of his presence and to hear his voice. Other devotions can be incorporated (e.g., reading sacred scripture, praying the rosary, etc.). Attached is also a reflection on the coming of God by Saint Bernard, Abbot that might be good to reflect on in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament during Advent.


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