Sunday, January 28, 2007

Adoration and Benediction

If you've never been to Adoration, you might be surprised at how enjoyable it is. Adoration is when the Consecrated Host is placed in a monstrance. The monstrance is placed on the altar and everyone is encouraged to sit in the pew and adore Him. It is very quiet, no conversations, no singing, no vocal prayers (the exception is during the Benediction which I'll cover in a bit).

People typically bring a book or two of devotional or spiritual reading or they may just sit and mentally converse with God.

I began doing this a month or so ago and now I am addicted. When I arrive, I feel like I'm in a hurry about something. It feels very strange then to just sit there and hear nothing and do nothing. But the calm/peace comes over me pretty quickly and I just let my mind wander, talking to God about this, that, or the other thing. The hour passes pretty quickly. You certainly don't need to stay for an hour but time flies!

By the way, when you enter, most people get down on both knees, i.e. they don't do a simple genuflection. I think after Vatican II it was changed (I know, I know) so that is no longer necessary but just because something is not necessary doesn't mean it isn't worth doing.

Then, about 15 minutes before the end of Adoration, the Benediction begins.

At our parish, we say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. If Father Carroll
leads the chaplet, we may get one of his wonderful homilies. Then, we sing Tantun Ergo (in Latin!!!)* and say the Divine Praises (in English)**. Then we sing "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name". Finally, the priest puts on a humeral veil and picks up the monstrance, turns to face those of us in the pews and blesses us by raising and lowering the monstrance 3 times (while a lay person incenses the monstrance).

After the blessing the priest replaces the blessed sacrament in the tabernacle (the Reposition) and genuflects.

The first time I attended the Benediction, I walked out in a daze. It
was so beautiful and holy. Now, I try to attend whenever possible.
It's on a Saturday at our church so it's a little challenging to get to sometimes...

* Tantum Ergo
Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.

** The Divine Praises
Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.


Anonymous said...

Most Catholics are familiar with the Church’s encouragement of honoring, bowing or kneeling down in front of statues. Some even participate in such things as Adoration where the Consecrated Host is placed in a monstrance. The monstrance is placed on the altar and everyone is encouraged to sit in the pew and adore it. What they don’t realize is that one of God’s Ten Commandments is to refrain from worshiping such idols or physical representations of God. For any Catholic reading this that needs to see the evidence of this fact, I implore you to please look in your own Catechism books and you will find Commandment #2 is completely missing! There's a reason for that. Go to the Bible, Exodus chapter 20, and read the second commandment. You will understand why it has been removed once you sit in your church and see all those kneelers in front of statues.

Anonymous said...

As I read this comment, it came to me that most people are so narrow minded and believe everything they here or read. However, as a Catholic we do not worship or praise to statues but indeed pray with them. Just because the saints are no longer present on earth does not mean they are no longer with us in spirit. We pray with them because we know they have the strong faith they once had and still have when they were on earth with us. We kneel to worship to God because it is in us to honor and praise God with the best concentration possible.

Anonymous said...

Since the consecrated host is literally the body of Christ, it is not a representation or idol.

Fr Peter said...

What the first commentator failed to take into account is the fact that Exodus was written before God revealed his face to us. Any images at that time would have been mankind's imaginings, the worship of which would have been idolatry. Now, following the Incarnation He has revealed himself to us in the form of Jesus Christ. Not only that, he has declared himself present in the Holy Sacrament. Now the newer rite is here!