Adoration - When can you leave?

A recent… uncomfortable incident has left me with some questions about Adoration.

When my church has adoration is begins with a ‘ceremony’, I suppose. It takes about an hour. During this hour the priest kneels and prayers before the Eucharist. The congregation, of course, prays with him. After the prayers are completed the Eucharist is left out and everyone can kneel and pray silently. My question is… can one leave during the public prayers that take place before the silent time?

I took a friend to adoration this past weekend and about thirty minutes in she started freaking out and then she insisted on leaving. She walked out… and after a few moments I followed her. I was her ride so I felt obliged to go with her. I didn’t think one COULD leave during prayers and the like but I’m not sure.

Can someone explain what this is all about to me? I’m new to the faith and this was my first time to adoration so I didn’t really understand and I wasn’t sure when we’re allowed to leave…

Thank you!

After the Benediction prayers are done, then I would say its okay to leave if you must. I’ve only been to a few Benedictions then stayed for a Mass that followed it not long after.

Regular adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is different if the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Most of the time, the prayer is generally silent and people pray/read what they want then leave when they wish. If its a perpetual chapel, then at least one person must be in there and ideally must wait for someone else to arrive before leaving.

To me this sounds like an extraordinary situation. From what you’ve described, it was acceptable to leave.

I’m really sorry but what is a Benediction Prayer?

In short, you may leave whenever you want, since there’s no obligation to be there in the first place.

If you can only be there for part of it, go for part of it, and be at peace.

Awesome. :slight_smile: Thanks for the information guys. I suppose I just think it’s rude to walk out when someone is praying… so I felt very uncomfortable leaving, even under those circumstances. Now if I ever get stuck in this situation again I’ll feel comfortable following my companion out!

Perhaps your friend wasn’t aware that you would be there for a period of time in adoration.
We should be in the precence of the lord without any time constraints on our minds that would distract us. Please explain to any invited friends what goes on inside the church and the importance of spending time in adoration. Remember, many people even catholics
are not familiar with what goes on inside the church.

Just as an aside… how would you describe Adoration or explain Adoration to a new Catholic who doesn’t understand yet?

In the simplest terms?

This stuff wasn’t covered in our RCIA so I’m a little lost.

The simplest way to explain it that I once heard at a youth retreat is this:

It’s as if you hit pause during the moment when the priest raises the consecrated host at Mass.

And that’s about it. Our Lord is simply there, present in the form of bread, being held by the monstrance. And you go and adore him.

Hope this helps.

I would direct them to Matthew 26:40, when Jesus said to Peter “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?”
…Since God is fully present in the Eucharist, then when you go to adoration you are spending time in his very presence. The whole reason for adoration is the Real Presence. Is there any other place more consoling than that?

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