Hello Rosary lovers. Adoration of the blessed Sacrament is a fairly big thing in the Catholic Church. But what is it? What is Catholic Eucharistic Adoration?
Well, the first thing to say is that Eucharistic Adoration, if it is Catholic, will only be adoration of a Catholic Eucharist.
Some Protestant churches practice Eucharistic adoration, such as Anglo-Catholics. Unfortunately, Catholics cannot really take part in the Eucharistic adoration of Protestant churches, because the Catholic Church does not believe that Protestant churches have a true Eucharist.
As for Orthodox Churches, they certainly DO have a true Eucharist, but they don’t have a tradition of Eucharistic adoration.
So we are specifically speaking about Catholic Eucharistic Adoration here.
What is Eucharistic Adoration?
Catholic Eucharistic Adoration is when a Catholic steps foot in a Catholic Church, and begins to adore the Holy Eucharist in the Tabernacle behind the veil.
This act of adoration can take different forms. But essentially Eucharistic Adoration is perhaps the simplest thing in the world. You simply recognise that Jesus Christ is truly there in the Tabernacle, under the form of consecrated Bread, and you give him your love.
That’s it in a nutshell.
The way you give Jesus your love obviously begins with first believing that he is there, that the Eucharist really is him. There can be no Eucharistic Adoration without this.
You can’t see the Bread because it is hidden in the Tabernacle, under lock and key. But you believe it is there, and you believe it is Jesus Christ.
This isn’t pretend, and it’s not simply wanting something to be there which isn’t really there. It’s real. We Catholics experience the real presence of Jesus when we do this. Not everytime, of course, but sometimes.
Beyond faith, you may simply stand or kneel in silence before him. Silent love. Silent adoration.
Or you simply lift up your heart to Jesus in the Eucharist.
Hardly anything could be more beloved to Jesus than when a Catholic adores him in the blessed Sacrament.
Each Catholic will practice Eucharistic adoration differently, depending on how a Catholic relates to God. Many Catholics relate to God in different ways.
Sometimes we don’t feel anything. We just have to believe that he is there and try to love him despite feeling nothing. Other times, we have a precious experience of his nearness, and adoring Jesus seems a lot easier.
In the silence, we simply adore him. We sit at his feet. If the Church is empty of anyone else, we might do a few prostrations before him in the Tabernacle.
We may pray audibly to him, or in our hearts. Or we may keep our hearts quiet so as to listen to him in the silence.
Jesus has been known to talk to Catholics through Eucharistic adoration. With their hearts open to him, the will of God becomes clear to them.
Sometimes the silence itself is all we need to hear from him.
This is a truly beautiful devotion and way of worshipping Jesus. It’s one of my favourite devotions and it’s so easy.
In fact, it is so effective, that Eucharistic adoration has even become popular through live-streaming. This was especially the case during the COVID pandemic, when the Churches were all closed.
This means that the Blessed Sacrament has been removed from the Tabernacle, and placed in a Monstrance. This is the holiest way to worship the Sacrament, when it is exposed from its hiding place, when Jesus is unveiled in all his naked glory before us.
It is very hard for a Catholic not to feel a powerful sense of awe when this happens, even if we are simply watching over the internet.
For me, Eucharistic adoration is one of the most important ways I relate with God. Not many days pass without me purposely going to the local Church simply to kneel in the presence of Jesus for a few moments. Such moments often become the high point of my day, something I can carry with me until I go to sleep.
I tend to say very little to God when I do this. I tend to simply spend the time in silent adoration. But if I have a particular concern, I bring this. In truth, it’s often different depending on the occasion or the state of my heart.
I encourage you to engage in Catholic Eucharistic adoration. It is life-changing and of great value before God.
I always smile at how some of the devotions which have the most blessings attached to them are some of the easiest things to perform. It is not hard to go to the local Church, walk in, and sit in Christ’s presence for a few moments, even for a minute. And yet the blessings God pours out through this are immense.
The Church offers a PLENARY indulgence to a Catholic who, in a state of grace, practices Eucharistic adoration for just 30 minutes in a local Church. And the Eucharist doesn’t need to be exposed on the altar for this indulgence to be received.
(Obviously, to get a plenary indulgence, the usual conditions need fulfilling: take the Eucharist, go to Confession, pray for the Pope and in your heart reject every sin, even venial sin.)
A partial indulgence is received if a Catholic attends Eucharistic adoration for anytime at all, even a few seconds, and/or doesn’t fulfil all the conditions.
I personally don’t focus on the indulgences part. I just go and worship my Lord, come what may.
God bless you