Some Questions Regarding Eucharistic Adoration:
Today, I want to address some points on Eucharistic Adoration. As I offer these answers, I also want to make clear to all my own desire to promote
Eucharistic Adoration both in our opportunity for such here in the parish and in our locale (i.e. at the Holy Innocents’ Chapel at St. Mary Star of the Sea parish downtown) as a means to greater relationship with Jesus Christ both in our individual lives and as a community of faith. Stay tuned for more promotion and reflection on this great gift and opportunity…
What is the difference between Adoration of Jesus in the tabernacle and adoring with the Eucharist exposed such as in an Adoration Chapel?
In reference to the benefits of spending time in Jesus’ Eucharistic Presence, the fruits of adoring him in the tabernacle versus adoring him in the monstrance for exposition are similar if not the same. However, there are some important differences in the manner of adoration that places greater responsibilities upon us for Eucharistic Adoration through exposition in the monstrance. These differences pertain primarily to the external circumstances. First of all, whereas a tabernacle is secure (and truly must be secure according to the Canon Law), the monstrance for Eucharistic Exposition is not secured. Thus, whenever there is exposition, it is strictly required that at least one, though preferably at least two, people are always present – that the sacred species may always be attended to, and therefore, protected from any risk of desecration. Second, whereas adoring the Lord in the tabernacle is done with his presence “veiled,” so to speak, the adoration during exposition is with our Lord’s presence “unveiled,” and therefore an even more sacramental and personal encounter is offered to us. Finally, whereas the adoration in the tabernacle can always be made available (so long as the Church building is open), the adoration as exposition must (by its nature) be made available only in defined times – which can be “perpetual” or 24 hours/day; seven days/week; 365 days a year, with legitimate permission from the local bishop. Might I encourage all to take full advantage of praying in Jesus’ Eucharistic presence through both ways of adoration: the Eucharist reposed in the tabernacle and exposed upon the altar.
I was taught that at Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, we did the “double”
genuflection. Has that changed?
The custom of a “double” genuflection – that is, going down on both knees before the Eucharist instead of just one knee – has often been linked to the practice of Eucharistic Exposition as an expression of greater reverence and worship before the exposed Eucharist. Whenever Jesus’ Eucharistic presence is concealed in the
tabernacle, it is our discipline to genuflect on only one knee. The visible (and active) differences in the genuflections likely are rooted in traditional practices, so as to
distinguish the moments of adoration more clearly (placing greater reverence on exposition of the Eucharist with the double genuflection, as this moment is more
notable in the “unveiling” of the Eucharist than other more typical times when the Eucharist is veiled in the tabernacle). Today, in the ritual books for Eucharistic
Exposition, there is no distinction made regarding genuflecting on one or both knees, whether the Eucharist is in the tabernacle or on the altar for exposition. Accordingly, that some only do a genuflection on one knee during exposition of the Eucharist should not be taken to be incorrect; it may simply be that these individuals never had experience of earlier practices that did make such a distinction. However, for those who do offer a double genuflection during adoration, there is no need to stop – especially when this gesture aids you in entering more deeply into the moment
Fr. Joel Hastings