WHAT IS EUCHARISTIC ADORATION?
The practice of Eucharistic Adoration is a centuries old ritual and falls within a broader category of devotions and rituals that are associated with the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In a particular way, Eucharistic Adoration is an extension of the worship and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that occurs in every Mass.
In a long-standing practice, a period of Eucharistic Adoration often ends with “benediction,” the blessing of the faith with the Blessed Sacrament.
Several parishes throughout the United States have introduced the practice of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, while other communities have the custom of shorter periods of Eucharistic Adoration. Care should always be taken that these periods of adoration respect the instructions outlined in Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, the liturgical book that gives the instructions for the proper celebration of Eucharistic Adoration.
Although adoration of the Blessed Sacrament can never take the place of Eucharistic Communion, many Catholics find great comfort and consolation in their prayers before the Eucharist enshrined in the tabernacle or when it is exposed in the monstrance (both are equally valid, as the Christ is not more present in one than in the other). But when we consider our eucharistic devotions, it is always important to remember the fundamental connection these acts of devotion have the celebration of the Eucharist in the Mass and reception of Christ in Communion.