Lectures in the Adoration chapel


#1

I don’t usually complain or even raise an eyebrow at what churches do, but I had an experience this evening that seemed odd at the local Adoration chapel.

A couple of the churches around here have Adoration one or more days per week in a chapel that is basically a smaller worship space for Mass and is used for weekday Masses, other special small Masses, and group prayers/ Holy Hours. As would be expected, Jesus is not exposed during any of the Masses. He is sometimes exposed during the group prayers and Holy Hours, which might have different elements like an approved hymn being played, someone reading a reflection, time for silent Adoration, and a group saying the Rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet, and other prayers together.

Tonight I went by the chapel that usually has Wednesday Adoration, and all was as usual, except I noticed a group coming in for the last hour of Adoration and I figured it was some retreat group or other group going to have a Holy Hour followed by Benediction at the end of the Adoration time. I was a bit surprised when the priest and altar server came in, we sang a hymn, and then the priest and server sat down while another priest got up and delivered a “faith formation” lecture for 45 minutes with the host exposed. The topic didn’t have much of anything to do with what I consider “faith formation” (it was a parenting topic dealing with an aspect of our culture; most of the people there were so old their kids were probably middle-aged) but the lecture was good, well researched, well planned, and well delivered. However, I was a bit weirded out by the fact that Jesus was sitting on the altar in a monstrance while the people were listening to a lecture on a topic not particularly tied to scripture or prayer.

As I was not particularly interested in the lecture topic, but didn’t really want to get up and walk out on Jesus and had more prayers to say, I discreetly prayed for the 45 minutes. Then we had a short (about 10 minutes) silent Adoration time, followed by Benediction and reposing of the Host.

Some thoughts that crossed my mind were that the presence of Jesus no doubt confers some grace to those who were trying to get insights by attending the lecture, that Jesus likely blessed this effort as the parish is genuinely trying to inform people on a timely topic, that perhaps Jesus enjoyed hearing an engaging lecture, and that He had probably 50 people in the chapel visiting Him who wouldn’t have been there on a normal night when all that was going on was prayers and Benediction (when attendance is normally more like 5 to 15 people). However, I would have thought that they would have reposed the Host before the lecture, or had the lecture on a night that wasn’t Adoration night.

Is this type of thing done in anyone else’s parish? Do you often have lectures, or something other than a Holy Hour, in the presence of the exposed Eucharist?


#2

Whether in the actual church or a dedicated chapel I have never experienced this in Adoration. Some possibilities…maybe it was a busy night and other spaces were being used? Maybe a last minute decision and they did not want to send away anyone who was there for Adoration?


#3

I think it’s a regular program they offer once a month or so. I haven’t happened to run into it before now.

This particular church is an older building and its gathering spaces are much more limited than the newer churches, which likely would have had a lecture hall or lecture room for this activity so it wouldn’t have had to be in the chapel.

I also thought perhaps they were having it in there to promote Adoration and get more people in there visiting Jesus, which is a laudable goal.


#4

Welp this is timely lol…

The caption says…

This afternoon (September 12) some of our chaplaincy team members joined Archbishop Bernard from his private chapel. It was great to be united in prayer with schools from across the diocese

You don’t need a tv screen to be united in prayer.


#5

Oh, that image fills me with sadness.


#6

Editing because I see the TV is on a separate stand and not on the altar like I thought, but still… :woman_facepalming:

This idea that we have to do all sorts of activities with Jesus exposed is weird to me. He could be put in the tabernacle if a monitor is to be brought in and we can still pray and adore Him in there without it looking like a screen is competing with Him in the monstrance for viewers’ attention.


#7

One of the best missions I have attended was taught by Fr Leo Patalinghug. He did a session that was taught with the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Truly powerful!


#8

This sounds like a “parish mission.” I’ve noticed a trend lately around me to have the Blessed Sacrament exposed during the lessons given during a “parish mission.”


#9

I must admit…I would not have enjoyed trying to pray while there was a lecture going on as I have a few issues with noise and my brain could not handle that. I am blessed that in my church our adoration is always silence except for Thurs at 1130am when we say the rosary for 20mins communally. all the other times there is silence, other than the odd noise of people coming and going.

As for tv screen…I am too old fashioned for that… I just find it sad. I don’t see the need to be honest, why do we need some Archbishop there, God bless him, but why? you can watch him some other time. Our church has some mod cons ie. it streams 24/7 online so people who are ill can watch adoration or mass at home (or if you go on holiday you can watch mass), but it’s discreet and you can’s see the camera’s it still looks like a nice Victorian church. But a tv next to Jesus…yep I am too old fashioned for that, lol. I agree you dont need a tv to be united in prayer… God came before wifi and is far stronger and more effective


#10

That’s a mission though. I’ve been to those too and I kind of expect the presence of Jesus there.
I am less comfortable when it is just a parenting lecture.


#11

That would be odd.


#12

Can’t comment, I’ve only been to vespers or holy hour in the presence of the Eucharist.


#13

I believe this type of thing is fairly common and goes back a long time. When I was a kid, we had holy hour once a week, the Eucharist was exposed and the priest would give a meditation, often it could have been thought of as a faith formation talk. After the meditation, benediction occurred. Went to a two night Lenten mission last year where the same thing occurred. I go to an Opus Dei evening of recollection once a month. The Eucharist is exposed during the whole thing, and there are two talks by the priest, who is sitting at a table, and in between a lay person leads a group examination on conscience. Afterwards there is benediction. What you describe does not seem odd to me at all.


#14

ONLY time something like this has happened was for our Lenten Mission. Our Lord was exposed and then the Mission talk was given and then Holy Adoration for a specific amount of time. That’s all I’ve ever seen where this might have been done but it was well advertised and explained that this would be done ahead of time.


#15

In all honesty this is very odd to me and I don’t feel too comfortable with this idea. I’m not quite sure what to make of it


#16

I’ve been to similar Opus Dei retreats, where the Eucharist was exposed. It didn’t concern me as there was plenty of reverence to the Eucharist before and after, and the talk was appropriate. In other settings such as the one the OP describes, I’d have concerns, especially if people in the chapel were praying and expecting silence and then a group came in and essentially took over.
Luckily our adoration chapel is quite small–holds only about 10 people–so I don’t think a group is likely to crowd in.


#17

This is not that unusual. We had an entire parish mission some years ago where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed during the talks given by the priest. All priests involved were traditionally minded so it clearly has some precedent in the Church. In other instances, like during a concert, the Blessed Sacrament should be removed from the tabernacle altogether and the door left open with the red candle blown out.


#18

I am just the opposite. I hope it becomes more and more common. It’s not a new practice, it’s just making a much needed come back.


#19

From the liturgical book “Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass”:

“95. During the exposition there should be prayers, songs, and readings to direct the attention of the faithful to the worship of Christ the Lord.
To encourage a prayerful spirit, there should be readings from scripture with a homily or brief exhortations to develop a better understanding of the eucharistic mystery. It is also desirable for the people to respond to the word of God by singing and to spend some periods of time in religious silence.
96. Part of the liturgy of the hours, especially the principal hours, may be celebrated before the blessed sacrament when there is a lengthy period of exposition. …”


#20

We have Adoration 24/7 in our chapel…in fact it’s our hour before the Blessed Sacrament tonight at 7pm…but to the point. my wife received her annulment and was confirmed last year…directly after mass our priest took us out to the Adoration Chapel and we had our marriage convalidated in front of the Blessed Sacrament…that was really special…I’ve never heard of lectures taking place


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