Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Adoration/Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a liturgical practice which emphasizes the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

It is the act of worshiping Jesus present in the consecrated Host (the Eucharist), which is exposed in a special vessel called a monstrance. This practice springs from the belief that Jesus Christ is truly present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the bread (and wine) offered as a gift during Mass. Adoration is a time of prayer, meditation, and contemplation in the presence of Christ. The Church suggests biblical readings, music, and a reflection (a homily or reading from the Church Fathers or Doctors).

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is typically the conclusion of the period of Adoration. During Benediction, the priest or deacon, wearing a humeral veil, takes the monstrance and makes the sign of the cross over the people. This is a blessing given by Christ Himself, through the action of the priest or deacon.

These practices provide a means for Catholics to express their belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, to spend time in prayerful meditation in Christ’s presence, and to receive a blessing directly from the Lord. The ritual is a tangible affirmation of the Catholic understanding of the mystery of the Eucharist and an opportunity for the faithful to deepen their relationship with Jesus.

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