Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Discovering Eucharistic Adoration

In the comment box over at Me monk. Me meander. there's a bit of a discussion going on with regards to the charismatic renewal's contribution to the rediscovery of devotions to Mary and Eucharistic Adoration. I was going to post my own comment but it got a little long so I decided to post it here:

"I think a prime example of a more "charismatic" movement leading to a re-discovery of the richness of the Tradition of the Church and the centrality of the Eucharist is being lived here in my archdiocese.

Here they have monthly Eucharistic Adoration for young adults (generally 18 - 30 yrs, although of course anyone can come to Eucharistic Adoration) in a different parish each month (they also have a similar event for high school students). There are typically around 200 people that show up, which is quite a few for the size of our archdiocese. The format of the Eucharistic Adoration is exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a Gospel reading, and short guided meditations on that particular reading by a priest about every twenty minutes. Adoration lasts close to two hours and for most of the time there is praise and worship music. Everyone is invited to come up and place a votive candle on the altar as a sign of their intentions if they want. Towards the end of the Adoration time there is a period of about ten or fifteen minutes of silent Adoration. This is then followed by Tantum Ergo, the priest processing around the church with the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, Divine Praises, prayers for Vocations and the protection of the sanctity of human life. Everyone is very reverant towards Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. After the time of Adoration there are usually four or five priests available to hear confessions. The confession lines last for hours sometimes.

While I personally prefer silent Eucharistic Adoration than with the praise and worship music going on for most of the time this monthly Eucharistic event has led to a great increase in personal devotion to Christ in the Eucharist among the young people of the archdiocese. Through this event they are discovering Eucharistic Adoration and then coming to Christ in Adoration outside of the context of this event (visiting Christ at perpetual adoration chapels throughout the archdiocese and in the tabernacles of the churches in the area). Furthermore, giving the opportunity for confession directly following Eucharist Adoration has led to a practice of more regular confession among many of the young adults who attend the event. And not least of all, the priests who has been involved in this event often speak of how encouraging it is for them in their vocation to see over two hundred young adults praying before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament; this gives them hope, encouragement, and strengthens them in their ministry."