I have been asked by a few in the parish if we might provide opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration. The Eucharistic Chapel located behind the choir area in our church is an ideal setting. Of course I am very happy to promote the prayer life of our parish community in any way that I can. Here are a few thoughts.
– The primary purpose of Eucharist is to be received at Mass. The Lord has given us this bread and wine, his Body and Blood to nourish us on our pilgrim journey of life.
– Eucharist was first reserved after Mass so that it could be taken to the sick who could not come to Church. This practice continues today. Many of our parishioners bring the Eucharist from Mass to their loved ones. Others visit nursing homes or the homebound. Eucharist is carried is a small container called a pyx (pronounced picks, the plural is pyxes).
– In the 12th century, people began to pray before the Eucharist, This came about in particular as a response to those who claimed that the Eucharist was not truly the Body of Christ.
– The Eucharist is reserved in the Tabernacle. A Tabernacle must be secured to the ground and locked. Our Tabernacle is in the Eucharistic Chapel. A candle is always lit nearby to indicate the presence of the Blessed Sacrament inside the Tabernacle.
– Our Church has the unique feature of the Eucharistic chapel being open at all times. Even when the rest of the church and parish facility is locked, people can enter the Eucharistic Chapel at all hours to pray in the presence of the Eucharist.
– Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is a more particular way of praying before the Eucharist. The host is removed from the Tabernacle and placed in a “Monstrance.” The Monstrance is a vessel that shows the Eucharist (demonstrate).
– Perpetual Adoration means that the Eucharist is continually displayed in a Monstrance. Some monasteries, convents or chapels have perpetual adoration.
– The Church does have guidelines for adoration. Since Eucharistic adoration is meant to nourish the faith, it is important to have some of the faithful (at least two) present at all time and never to have the Eucharist exposed with no one present. This means that to begin the practice we do need some coordination.
We will begin simply. It was suggested to me that the month of All Souls would be a good time to start.
The Eucharist will be exposed in the Eucharistic Chapel on Fridays November 7, 14, 21 from 9:30 a.m. (after morning Mass) until 2:00 p.m. A sign-up list can be found in the Eucharistic Chapel.