Our parish is having Adoration one day per week for the duration of the 40 Days for Life. I was present for the last hour of the evening. When our priest came out of the Sacristy, we all knelt, as did he. He then walked behind the altar facing us and prior to removing the luna, he held the monstrance bare handed while it still contained the Blessed Sacrament and blessed us with the monstrance but without putting on or using a humeral veil.
Is that proper?
All Benedictions I’ve attended have included the priest putting on the humeral veil before the blessing by Christ and not touching the monstrance with his hands. This was not a Benediction, it was the end of a twelve hour Adoration with silence prior to the blessing I described and as he reposed the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.
I have wondered this myself for over two years, since the blessing in my parish is always given bare handed. (We do not have a cope and humeral veil; I’m working on it * but those items aren’t cheap.) The only places in the entire archdiocese I have seen at least the humeral veil used are the ICRSS chapels and the seminary. I have never even seen a humeral veil at the cathedral (though I know they have copes).
Though the question was about something else, I’ve taken the following from a Jimmy Akin blog post (emphasis is mine):
According to the document Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass
, which is part of the Roman Ritual (see The Rites, vol. 1):…]
The minister, if he is a priest or deacon, should vest in an alb, or a surplice over a cassock, and a stole. Other ministers should wear either the liturgical vestments that are used in the region or the vesture that is befitting this ministry and is approved by the Ordinary. The priest or deacon should wear a white cope and humeral veil to give the blessing at the end of adoration, when the exposition takes place with the monstrance. In the case or exposition in the ciborium, he should put on the humeral veil.I take from this that the humeral veil is preferred, perhaps strongly, but it is not absolutely forbidden not to use one. That is my personal interpretation, however, so I don’t know if this helps. I am neither a liturgist nor a canon law specialist. As a reminder, in case it makes a difference, I am in France.
The rubrics can be found in the document Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (Roman Ritual, The Rites, vol. 1):
The ordinary minister for exposition of the Eucharist is a priest or deacon. At the end of the period of adoration, before the reposition, he blesses the congregation with the sacrament.
In the absence of a priest or deacon or if they are lawfully impeded, an acolyte, another [extraordinary] minister of communion, or another person appointed by the local Ordinary may publicly expose and later repose the Eucharist for the adoration of the faithful.
Such ministers may open the tabernacle and also, as required, place the ciborium on the altar or place the host in the monstrance. At the end of the period of adoration, they replace the blessed sacrament in the tabernacle. It is not lawful, however, for them to give the blessing with the sacrament.
The minister, if he is a priest or deacon, should vest in an alb, or a surplice over a cassock, and a stole. Other ministers should wear either the liturgical vestments that are used in the region or the vesture that is befitting this ministry and is approved by the Ordinary.
The priest or deacon should wear a white cope and humeral veil to give the blessing at the end of adoration, when the exposition takes place with the monstrance. In the case or exposition in the ciborium, he should put on the humeral veil.
= = =
So, the priest should wear a white cope and humeral veil.
It is possible there was a reason for the absence of the correct vestments, including their unavailability for some reason, a lack of time for vesting due to some circumstance, and so on.
Unless this becomes habitual with this priest or this parish, I would consider it a minor rubrical gaffe and not worth pursuing. Of course if it becomes de riguer the ordinary approach of inquiry with the priest, followed by contact with the bishop if necessary, all with due respect for authority is the proper response.
Yes, at Benediction, the priest should use the humeral veil. However, it’s not strictly required.
Think of it this way: when the priest distributes Holy Communion at Mass, he doesn’t use a humeral veil to hold the ciborium. Therefore, there’s no absolute rule that he must have his hand(s) covered in order to hold a vessel containing the Blessed Sacrament. Nevertheless, at Benediction, he should use one.
We “should” generally wear a humeral veil or cope. Sometimes circumstances dictate otherwise. In July I was at adoration. It was 95 degrees outside, with 95% humidity. It was all I could do to stay on my feet with the alb on. I eschewed the cope half way through adoration, and at the blessing, I chose to stay conscious rather than put on the cope or humeral veil. Seemed prudent at the time.
All of my clothes, including my alb, needed to be laundered after that, and I was severely dehydrated.