Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Heart's Desire

I was reading some "success stories" on a Catholic website tonight where Catholic singles found each other online and then...well duh got married. It's Valentine's Day so you know, it's cute to see how the Lord has brought together so many people, strong in their faith, through semi-unconventional means (the computer). Anyways, one of the stories focused on an engagement that took place during Adoration.

I had heard of this before, but I've never been to one. I had to look up the definition and everything to fully understand the beauty of the story. But after reading it, I feel a deep desire...a strong need to go to Adoration. It's so hard to describe...I just feel my heart and soul need this, they've been missing out.

I'm going to check my church's website, but when does Adoration usually occur? Is it weekly? monthly? daily? I feel like such an amateur not knowing the ins & outs of such a simple tradition.

On the website it says:

"Perpetual Adoration" is Eucharistic Adoration round the clock (that is, twenty-four hours a day). A "Holy Hour" is "Eucharistic Adoration of Reparation" which lasts for about an hour.

Adoration ceremonies traditionally include Scripture readings, hymns, prayers and time for silent adoration."

So there are different kinds? I wish it went into more detail about it...if anyone knows the details about these two, please fill me in! Thanks :)

Also!! Is the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament the same thing as Adoration?

Blessings Always~


deltaflute said...

To answer your question, no. The exposition of the blessed sacrament can be done at any time and anyone can drop in.

Adoration is more formal. Some churches are able to hold a perpetual adoration (which means constant) at all times. Others have to set aside a time to hold adoration. The idea in adoration is that there is someone with Jesus at all times. My former church would hold adoration on the first weekend of the month. People would sign up and come and sit with Jesus. You also don't have to have the blessed sacrament exposed in a monstrose like you do in the exposition of the blessed sacrament (which means to expose it usually in a monstronse).

Hope that helps

R.A.~ said...

Hmm so in adoration, the is always someone sitting with Jesus and the Eucharist can just be in a ciborium, whereas in the exposition of the blessed sacrament, it is set in a monstrance and can be unguarded?

What is the difference spiritually? Do you get more out of one more than the other? why can the latter be left alone while the former must be guarded? Do you, as a worshiper, do anything different in adoration than the exposition of the blessed sacrament?

Online I can't find much that explains how they differ beyond the time slot thing. My church only offers exposition of the blessed sacrament and I will attend, as I need much more time with God.

deltaflute said...

Honestly, I'm not sure that there is a difference spiritually. But I'm not a theological expert. I've never done an adoration myself. I've gone to the Blessed Sacrament and prayed but when it wasn't exposed. It wasn't part of a formal adoration, but more of a private one. Our chapel was always open. One of the church's close to me opens theirs at certain times of day. And my church you have to go to the office to be let in.

For me, I'm not very good at vocal prayer. I'm much better at just meditating. I kind of sit and think about opening a door and having God walk through it. Sometimes in my mind we just sit and stare at each other. Other times I do a lot of talking and sometimes God speaks. I like being with the Blessed Sacrament when meditating because it's peaceful and quiet and I feel more of a connection. I can always meditate at home, but being there in a chapel forces me to focus.

Not everyone likes the silence thing. Many like the community thing and prefer to be a part of group prayer.

I hope that helps.

Carmela James said...

As deltaflute noted, Exposition can happen at any time, in any place. In contrast, Adoration is a ceremony that is specifically called for on certain occasions, such as Holy Thursday. (Though it can be done at any other time too, of course.) Exposition has become sort of a casual Adoration, though Adoration originally came from Exposition. The hosts must be guarded because they are much easier to steal from a ciborium than they are from a monstrance. Ideally, the monstrance is guarded at all times by Adorers, whereas people can come and go for Exposition.

When a church holds Adoration, it is usually to share in the tradition of Perpetual Adoration even if the adoration taking place is not literally perpetual. Adoration usually begins with a Procession of the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle to the altar. (I have been to Processions that went outside from one chapel to another, which is really a great experience.) Exposition, if I'm correct (I've only been to Adoration) is more "open the door, there it is."

When places are capable of holding Perpetual Adoration, the Host is (I believe) originally processed in, then left in the monstrance from then on. When these traditions were beginning, the monstrance was just a closed ciborium. The monstrance we know today came about as a method for the Host to be properly Processed and viewed. (Viewed as in visible anywhere in the church, as opposed to just knowing that it's in the Tabernacle over there.)

Spiritually...the benefits of Exposition and Adoration are about the same. Which is offered really depends on the church's facilities and the occasion. My tiny little church is only able to do Adoration until midnight on Holy Thursdays. There is a big church about half an hour away that has a chapel dedicated to perpetual adoration. It's like the difference between a Novus Ordo Mass and a Tridentine have to figure out which means more to you, and which is made available to you.

I hope that may have helped!