“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. The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating the Eucharist, but also by praying before It outside of Mass, we are enabled to make contact with the very wellsprings of Grace …”
– St. Alphonsus Liguori
What is Eucharistic Adoration?
Understood simply, Eucharistic Adoration is adoring or honoring the Eucharistic Presence of Christ. In a deeper sense, it involves “the contemplation of the Mystery of Christ truly present before us”.
During Eucharistic Adoration, we “watch and wait”, we remain “silent” in His Presence and open ourselves to His Graces which flow from the Eucharist. By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be. Like a magnet, the Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us.
In its fullest essence … Eucharistic Adoration is “God and Man reaching out for each other, at the same time.”
The Eucharist is: Jesus truly present – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity!
At the moment of Consecration, during the Mass, the “gifts” of bread and wine are transformed (transubstantiated) into the actual Body and Blood of Christ, at the Altar. This means that they are not only spiritually transformed, but rather are actually (substantially) transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. The elements retain the appearance of bread and wine, but are indeed the actual Body and Blood of Christ. This is what is meant by Real Presence: the actual, physical presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Christ instituted this Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist in order to remain with mankind until the end of time (Jn. 14:18).
The (reserved) Blessed Sacrament serves as a focal point of devotion.
Because, as Catholics, we believe that Christ is truly and substantially present in the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament is given the same adoration and devotion that is accorded to Christ.
At the beginning of the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a priest or deacon removes the sacred host from the tabernacle and places it in the Monstrance on the Altar for adoration by the faithful. “Monstrance” is the vessel used in the Church to display the consecrated Eucharistic Host, during Eucharistic adoration or benediction. The word monstrance comes from the Latin word monstrare, meaning “to expose”.
Adoration ceremonies traditionally include Scripture readings, hymns, prayers and time for silent adoration.
Eucharistic exposition and benediction is a complete liturgical service.
Eucharistic exposition and benediction is a complete liturgical service in its own right and is to be celebrated as such. Eucharistic exposition and benediction are no longer considered devotions, but rather are a part of the Church’s official liturgy.
Jesus waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament. He waits for our little acts of faith, adoration, love, thanksgiving, repentance, reparation and charity that we can offer Him as we contemplate His Divine Majesty in the Blessed Sacrament.
Pope Saint John Paul II in one of his homilies said, “It is pleasant to spend time with Him, to lie close to His breast like the Beloved Disciple (cf. Jn 13:25) and to feel the infinite love present in His heart … If, in our time Christians must be distinguished by the “art of prayer”, how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual conversation, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament?”