Charismatic prayer - does it have a place in the Catholic Church?

Hi all! :slight_smile: I have recently started to get more active in the faith and getting involved in a Catholic youth organisation; I love it all, as it places a strong emphasis on the Eucharist and has perpetual adoration on their retreats; we taught the importance of devotion to Mary and praying the Rosary. :extrahappy: However, at a recent event, where there were older members of the Church in attendance, during Eucharistic adoration there was charismatic prayer - we worshiping the Lord and giving thanks. However, one lady got up out of her seat and made for the back of the church spouting ‘There’s no place in the Catholic Church for charismatic prayer’ and refused to come back into the church until Mass was about to begin. Is this true? I thought charismatic prayer is just another form of praise and worship? :confused:

The lady was wrong. She mistook her own oppinion for the Catholic Church. It happens sometimes. Especially when people are scared or something doesn’t fit their own taste. There have been charismatic meetings even in St. Peter’s in Rome.

The Catholic Church is the original charismatic church.

Pray that the offended lady may see the beam in her own eye before criticizing the speck in others.

Though she said, her actions suggest something else: ‘There’s no place for her at a charismatic prayer session’


Depends. If charismaticism is not from the Holy Spirit, then it certainly should not be occuring within a church. If it does come from the Holy Spirit, it should remain in private groups and this lady has every right to leave and not join in.

I was at this event as bernadette101 and what I witnessed was she came out of the church, asked a priest was this a Charismatic event when he replied yes she just said that it has no place in the Catholic church. That was grand, he told her to watch her prejudices and she walked away.

The next day I was at adoration in the same place. When it was over we all left the chapel. I got talking to a lady. She started saying that praise and worship has started to seep into a youth organisation in the country and that it wasn’t right during times of adoration since ADORATION is a time to ADORE the Lord. At the time I didnt no how to respond, we were in a Holy place so it didnt feel right to get into that discussion. At these youth retreats there is a healing service after the healing service (which can b emotionally difficult) there is a time of praise and worship around the Blessed Sacrament before processing to the adoration chapel.

I have to admit that the last place I would expect Speaking in Tongues would be in a Catholic Church. As we just celebrated Pentecost, then it would be appropriate to remember Acts 2:13

Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning!

I am curious. Please describe the charismatic prayer.

When I go to Adoration it is to praise and worship the Lord. In psalms it tells us " the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. Charismatic worship is just that! Be grateful for this!


You say this took place during Eucharistic adoration. Do you mean to say that the Eucharist was exposed (as in a monstrance), with various people in attendance?

If so, it would be inappropriate for anyone in attendance to pray verbally, regardless of what form (tongues, Rosary, etc).

I am guessing that the poster refers to a combination of verbal praise in the vernacular, combined with praying in tongues. But only they can confirm if their understanding of “charismatic prayer” is what you and I would consider “charismatic prayer”. Otherwise there may have been people growling and barking, which isn’t charismatic prayer at all. I guess we shall have to wait for clarification.

If it is an organized event, it may not necessarily be inappropriate. Many parishes have First Saturday devotions (Fatima), and communal praying of the rosary takes place during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Having attended many of these over the course of 30+ years, they usually begin with Exposition, followed by the Rosary and other Fatima prayers, closing with Benediction.

If this was a scheduled charismatic event, with approval from the bishop (which I would assume it was since a priest stated it was), a period of scheduled verbal prayer would be appropriate. This may have been modeled after Steubenville youth events, or modeled after the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal youth events. Both typically incorporate elements of charismatic praise and worship in their events, which also include Eucharistic Adoration. Both also have published guidelines for parishes and schools to organize similar events.

Now if people are just randomly verbalizing prayer, in a situation where there isn’t time set aside for such prayer, then it is inappropriate for them to do so.

Since someone was present who clearly had no tolerance for this activity, I think we can conclude that it was not an organized “charismatic” event, but was regularly-scheduled adoration, and speaking in tongues was not part of the agenda, but was the spontaneous activity of certain people who were present, who disrupted the prayers of other people (the “older people” who the OP mentions, who were clearly not participating).

This would be inappropriate during simple adoration, but during exposition (Host in a monstrance) it would be an almost scandalous and sacrilegious display of disrespect for someone to just start vocalizing prayers (whatever they might be). It is an arrogant assumption that your prayers and intentions are more important than those of everyone present, and thus you and your prayers should be the focus of attention (instead of Our Lord) - because I guarantee that if you start praying aloud, everyone’s attention will be on you.

Really? How so?

I have, on severel occasions taken part in verbal prayer and song infront of the exposed blessed sacrament, both alone and with big groups.
You think that only silent prayer is allowed in the presence of the exposed Eucharist?

I think the idea is that if the Eucharist is exposed openly for anyone to come and pray privately then it would be wrong for individuals to begin praying their private prayers out loud. I don’t believe he was claiming that it is wrong to have organized group prayer out loud in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed.

Some people forget to read their Bibles.

Its plain from the New Testament that the charismatic gifts were unfolded and used in the gathered Christian assembly when the christians ‘came together’ - and not just in little prayer groups on the side.
Paul writes: when you come together, one will have one gift and one will have another (tongues, prophesy, word of knowledge, words of wisdom, interpretation of tongues, healing, songs). This is for the edification of the church together.

Today we have a church structure that doesn’t respect these words, and people are often not edified. Often people don’t even believe in the supernatural anymore. They make new theologies of suffering instead of following the roadmap in the New Testament.

The priest is the only one who speaks in a Catholic gathering. The edification through the gifts is not possible because 99 percent of the parish are not allowed to used their gifts in the assembly and are even not encouraged to believe that they exist. Someone might have a gift of prophesy and could greatly edify the congregation, but he will never know it, and the gift is never activated. Its quite sad what happens when there is too much fear to loose control, and many times the Sprit is stiffled.

Regarding vocal prayer during 24/7 Eucharistic Adoration.

Two things need to be added to the above posts.

  1. In some geographical areas, it is the scheduled adorer(s) who are considered the Guardians of the Blessed Sacrament. How they pray is basically up to them. If other adorers arrive, out of courtesy the scheduled adorer(s) can either ask if the other adorer would like to say the rosary, etc., or they will pray quietly so as not to disturb others who may enter. When there is a mixture of cultures attending Eucharistic Adoration, common respect is in order.

In general, it is best to be sensititive to others who may be experiencing a difficult time in their lives and need quiet time with Jesus.

  1. Either the pastor or the lay committee responsible for maintaining 24/7 Adoration can determine the protocol for Adoration. Note: our protocol says that even if a group is making a pilgrimage to Eucharistic Adoration or if particular hours are following a national day of prayer format, there has to be a period of quiet time for prayer.

Regarding Charismatic prayer. It can be silent prayer or vocal. Thus, an adorer can choose to use it quietly during Euchariatic Adoration. It does have a place in the life of the Catholic Church.

Would that include “big groups” who were largely unaware of your attempt to make a spectacle of yourself and disrupt the prayers of the other participants?

You think that only silent prayer is allowed in the presence of the exposed Eucharist?

My own Parish has regularly-scheduled daily exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, lasting one hour, and always preceding a Mass. It is the published custom that the last 15 minutes of this exposition will include a Rosary, led by a designated member of the Holy Name Society or the Blue Army (or anyone else that the Pastor designates).

My (Dominican) Parish rarely observes Eucharistic exposition without a portion of that time being devoted to the praying of a Rosary (St. Dominic, of course, being credited with the beginning of the Rosary prayer, so the Rosary is especially observed in a Dominican Parish).

This is a vocal prayer, the regular nature of which has been made known to everyone who attends this exposition, and which has been specifically approved by the Pastor.

That’s not what you describe. You describe some people attending a regular adoration (in the presence of “older people” who do not know you) and taking upon yourself the prerogative of verbal prayer. You distract the attention of other people away from Our Eucharistic Lord toward yourselves (even though these other people could not possibly benefit from your particular actions, presuming these “old” people cannot interpret tongues).

It is really no different (in effect) than some anti-Catholic wacko attending Eucharistic adoration/exposition and jumping up and yelling about how Catholics are idolatators because they worship the “death cookie.” They would surely claim that “the Spirit” moved them to do this - as would the Charismatics who do the same disrespectful thing when speaking in tongues in such a setting. I assure you that it IS a “spirit” that moves both persons, but it is not the “Holy Spirit.”

Praise God that you do have a regular hour of Eucharistic Adoration. Most likely the agenda for the hour is published or there are enough people who come regularly so as to maintain the normal agenda set by the Pastor.

What I believe is important, is to address each Adoration situation individually. We have adorers coming from 14 communities. Many come for a 10 or 15 minute visit with our merciful Savior. Common sense says that we will never be able to please everyone at the same time. Yet, people continue to recognize that the key individual is the one Who is truly present on the altar before us.

Just to clarify since I was at the event, this was an organised event.

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