Whats the difference between Eucharistic Adoration and just sitting in front of the tabernacle?

Is there a difference? Isn’t God everywhere? I know the Church encourages the faithful to go to perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, but how do you explain to someone who thinks its the same thing as just siting in front of the tabernacle praying or sitting in your home praying? I’m having a hard time trying to explain why Adoration is important to others.

No difference. Adoration is if you are there in the presence of the blessed sacrament praying. Adoration in itself is private worship.

The exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is different that is community event for the parish, order, chapel, whith the obligation that someone must be always present during the hours of exposition. In this case the Holy Sacrament is usually in a monstrance exposed for adoration.

As far as I know most usual indulgences requiring adoration does not require exposition. For example if the priest or person required to pray the divine office does that in the presence of the Eucharist (either exposed or hidden in the tabernacle) he receives plenary indulgence.

I’ll submit that there’s not much (any) difference between adoring in a perpetual adoration chapel or stopping in to an open church with the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. The Presence of God is right there.

Not quite the same sitting in my bedroom, though.

If there’s no difference, then do chapels and parishes really need to have perpetual eucharistic adoration? This practice of putting Christ on display in the Monstrance so people can pray or listen to him isn’t worth any difference then one sitting in the parish praying. I guess I can see why adoration isn’t popular anymore or worth going to when there isn’t a difference. I thought Vatican II and our holy father wanted the faithful to do this?

The difference is you can see Him present in the Monstrance. He isn’t hidden by the tabernacle doors.

His Real Presence is available for you to sit and talk with Him. He looks at you and you look at Him. You make the effort to visit when He is available. It is all about your effort to adore Jesus.

Big difference.

I guess the reason I ask is because I never was taught this growing up. I recently went to a chapel and there was a booklet listing reasons why one should go to perpetual adoration. Some of the subtitled reasons included that Jesus wants it, Jesus gives us his graces, The Holy Father asks for it, A truly personal relationship with Jesus, It builds Community, It brings peace, and everyone can participate.

There seems to be a huge push for this and it seems as if it’s very important to do although if it makes no difference from just sitting in a parish praying or driving in the car praying why the fuss about going? Is this the right attitude to have or should I be concerned about actually going to adoration every once in a while?

Seems like a big difference if he’s actually physically there looking at you compared to being behind closed doors…Why then do some say its not really a big deal? That’s kinda a big deal if you actually think about God looking at you and you looking at God. Maybe its not a big deal if you don’t think he’s actually there…like really there, physically there, truly there looking right at us, seriously in the Monstrance. If this is the truth the Church teaches we outta be running out the door during every reasonable moment in our lives to Eucharistic Adoration don’t you think? Think about it…it’s really God on display! That’s kinda big don’t you think?


Oh sure, I could go and see the Lord of the Universe veiled only by the Blessed Sacrament. But I could also wander down to the Buymore and look at some really cool stuff … :hmmm:
I’m afraid that many Catholics today would rather emmerse themselves in worldly matters. I am especially concerned that many holy people do not actually realize that it is God Himself that they receive at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Driving in a car praying is actually quite a bit different than sitting in a chapel before the tabernacle or going to a place where the Eucharist is in the monstrance. There is no way you can completely focus on God when you’re driving. It is so very important to have time with just you and God. Praying while doing other things is great, but you also need time alone with God. If you take time every day for just God alone, it will enrich your prayer life and your life. A good priest taught me that. At that time I felt I prayed all the time, but that’s when I realized I was almost always doing something (even if falling asleep.)

Sitting in a chapel is a great place to pray. So is adoration with the monstrance. I spend a certain amount of time in the chapel where I attend Mass and am often alone there. It’s a great thing.

Yet it is different to see Him in the Eucharist than to look at a tabernacle and know He’s there.

Since you’re questioning the difference between praying before a tabernacle vs a monstrance, do you mind me asking, do you go to your church at times when there is no Mass and pray?

Yes I do. Why do you ask? I go to both and was wondering how to explain the difference to Catholics and to myself. Is there some kinda issue with me asking this?

I ask because so often people ask “what’s the difference” when they haven’t experienced something. There is no issue at all with asking. If you had said you didn’t spend time alone with God, I’d be encouraging you to do it one way or another.

I’m glad you do both. I love both.

I think there are many reasons Adoration in front of a monstrance is stressed. For some, it helps them to focus on prayer. For many, it gives them a place to go to pray, away from the distractions of the house, a time to be in prayer while doing nothing else but spending time with God. Except for a short time after Mass, it doesn’t seem people spend a lot of time in the chapel praying, at least not where I go. I am almost always alone there on days or nights when I just drop in, while I am with others in the Adoration chapel of another church. If I’m not alone, there’s usually not more than one other (and that’s rare.)

That, and you’re right, looking at Jesus with Him looking back in the monstrance is definitely a big deal.

Keep doing what you’re doing. Reading your posts, you seem to have your head on pretty straight.

no there’s no issue at all. Along with everything that has been said, I was also taught tha when he is in the tabernacle he is reposed, and in the monstrance he is exposed; hence the term Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Beyond that, he is not ‘more present’ in the monstrance than he is in the tabernacle.

Yeah, I understand. Perhaps I kinda feel the same way when I look around and ask myself where is everybody? And why wasn’t I ever taught this growing up as a child in my Catholic family etc. It’s sad in a sense when I look back and realize how little I actually knew about Christ and his Church. It’s been hard and stressful coming back to the faith 2 years ago when you realize that you just don’t know very much of anything about the Catholic faith. Yet, its harder when the ones you love in your own family feel away from the faith and can’t really give me the spiritual lift I need for support. Which is why I try to come to these forums to ask and learn. There really isn’t anywhere else on the web to do this besides here that I know of. I think one of my goals this year is to meet Catholic people in real life that are within my age group that can offer me the type of true friendship one is supposed to have, one that will bring me closer to Christ. Most of my old friends in my past enjoy going out to the bars drinking lusting at women etc. It’s hard because I lost the taste for this and can see through all the lies. I really can’t go back to this lifestyle and it’s been a difficult, lonely road but I’m trying. Knowing that Jesus is there to understand and to help me is a great feeling, honestly. I just don’t understand why a lot of people see it as no big deal.

-God Bless

God bless you, too. I’m glad you asked the questions you did, and I’m glad you asked if there was a problem with your question rather than just thinking, by my response, that there was. Sometimes I don’t express myself well on these boards.

I get what you mean about what you were never taught. I wasn’t taught well growing up either, and neither was my daughter…at least, not through CCD. I learned as an adult and I taught her a lot, and the priest where we attend Mass offers a class that’s open to everyone. She learned more there.

She’s 18 and also has difficulty finding people who aren’t into the party scene, and people who care about God and His church. It can be a difficult thing.

Your last words…exactly! It’s a huge deal! You are so much richer than your friends, even in your loneliness, for understanding that.

Absolutely true.

And, I doubt prayers are more effective one way or the other.

However, as others have mentioned, our senses might be more involved during Adoration. That might make it easier to pray, to concentrate, but I doubt the efficacy is different.

The community is more than the individual, even more than the sum of individuals.

The exposition (with monstrance and with obligation that someone is there) is true community prayer:

Matt 18:20 For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The unfortunate thing is that some communities keep perpetual exposition w/o providing perpetual unbroken presence of adorers. They send the wrong message: we, the people are the ones who are more important, Christ should wait for us any time. No. He is the Lord and we the servants.

What a thoughtful question. I pray everywhere all the time and I also spend every Friday night for 1 1/2 hours in a small chapel in my church in adoration and worship of our Lord. I feel that He called me to spend this time with Him so we could just share. I read, I journal, or I just sit in contemplation and pray, all the time listening to what He has to share with me. It is just me and Him without distractions, away from people, phones, chores etc.
Yes I can pray anytime and He is there for me anytime, but Adoration time is something I hunger for. I cannot express the peace I feel from every encounter I have with Him in Adoration.

I hope my experience sheads a bid of light on your question.

Yes, and yes!

Dear Dfp42,

You are making 3 significant points.

  1. education for Catholics and Catholics taking the responsibility to even educate themselves has been seriously lacking in the last few decades. Maybe longer but I don’t have stats at my fingertips. I’m 53 and I can tell you my mother only told me the most basic info that you could have read it on a public bulletin board. My father was too busy working and didn’t go to church. From my memories my catholic school education wasn’t the best either. Thus we weren’t educated. Also remember once baptized a Catholic you are always a Catholic – your active or inactive status is up to you.

  2. Alot of people have fallen away and do not even come close to really practicing their faith. Many play “Cafeteria Catholic” believing only in what they want. They ignore and/or don’t practice what they don’t believe in. They are really placing their soul at risk because they know better and choose to ignore. For example some Catholics believe abortion should be allowed, murder.

  3. Congrats to you for trying to educate yourself & not wanting to go back to a lifestyle that is very harmful for the soul. I was caught up in that also for quite awhile. Something deep inside started me on a journey to come back and learn my faith. If you want to learn this is the place. I encourage you to buy a few books also. If you want to know Catholic Dogma - the foundation of our beliefs you can read it online at this site:


God Bless you and give you a burning desire to learn more. Feel free read other threads, keeping in mind #2. You must search for God if you want truth only. It is a most fasinating, and fullfilling journey. Teach by example and use a few words as possible according to many great saints. There are some who will try to lead you astray. I wish you the best. Pray to Mary as she will lead you to our Savior, her Son, Jesus.

Hi Laszlo,

Here is a great article why we should visit the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. It also has some other interesting info on Catholic participation, etc. Visiting is more powerful. God Bless


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