Are Catholic Churches not open 24 hours a day?

Just as the title says, are Catholic Churches not open 24 hours a day?

Tonight, i had a strong, sudden urge, out of nowhere, to goto the church.
why i really don’t know.

I’m still pretty new to Catholicism and all and i’ve been in RCIA for 5 months now, but i was under the impression that our churches are always open for people to come pray and find peace. Especially during the Lenten season.

So i just drove to two different parishes and they were closed and locked up. Is this normal at most parishes?

My parish has around 500 people attendance on sundays and we are, by no means, considered a small church.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless

It depends on where you are, but I think it is becoming the rule rather than the exception that churches (of all denominations) are locked up. I understand the frustration - I’m from a small town, grew up next door to my church, and am used to being able to go in any time. (And the Catholic church is never locked) But the reality is that people target churches for crime, so generally they get closed up in the early evening/evening - unless you can find a 24-hour adoration chapel.

I would strongly encourage you to find a 24-hour adoration chapel in your area. Then you can go at anytime to spend time with the Lord. But keep in mind that usually you need to get a key card or a security code for the door ahead of time for night-time entry. During the day a 24-hour adoration chapel is generally open.

Correct. Sadly so.

I have heard of parishes raising money for a security guard in order to keep 24 hour adoration.

Years ago, Catholic Churches were open for prayer all day. Today, our society is much too criminal for that.

My Lutheran church gives families keys to the church and the local Catholic parish also has a key-code lock on the side of the church for the faithful to go to the adoration chapel.

It usually a question of asking to be let in - “knock, and it shall be opened unto you”

Hi Sleepy1,

Years ago, many of us probably remember the churches being open during the day for people to go in and pray. It’s too bad it still can’t be like that today.

No dear, the churches are locked up at night like the others have said, unless they are left open for 24 hour Adoration, and even then they are still locked on the outside and you have to be let in.

American crime reached its peak in the early 1990s and has been decreasing since then, but the info-saturated culture is more squeamish and sensitive to crime today than it was 40 years ago. That’s the real reason parishes are locked more.

Yea I live in NYC and it really depends. Some of them are only open when somethings happening inside but some of them are open most of the day but I don’t know about 24 hours.

I have found that my prayer corner is a great place to pray. Always open and always has my dear friends, the saints as well as my Lord ready to listen.

That’s true, but for those who wish to adorate the Blessed Sacrament it’s just sad to find the chuch closed… although I can understand why, criminals are always reported to rob churches or destroy the interior or put fire to it.

Sadly no,

Although I find the Catholic Churches opened far longer than the Protestant ones in my area, they still must lock up at night for fear of being desecrated or robbed/burglarized.

We have adoration 8am-8pm everyday and 24 hrs the first Tuesday of the month. Even still it took a parish commitment as we never leave the blessed sacrament unattended and we sign up for adoration times to ensure the church is not left unattended.


I live in a small town and even we had a big screen TV stolen when a former pastor didn’t keep things locked up at night.

Other than adoration chapels, which typically have separate entrances, I have not seen churches open 24 hours in 30-40 years.

Here in Germany, I haven’t even seen those Adoration Chapels being open all day and night long. It seems that the USA has organized it very well for those who want to practice sacramental adoration. The number code opening the entrance door sounds great. I wish we had something like that as well…

Nope…it isn’t…
We live in a relatively small town and have had breakins and arson at least 4 times in the last few years. If you want to call us squeamish and sensitive because we would rather not have to repeat having to worship in a cafeteria for months while the fire damage was repaired, or replace vestments or Sunday collections then go ahead.
We have had at least 6 aggressive break ins in my quiet neighborhood (not far from the church) in the past few months. Am I being squeamish and sensitive to not want to be home or have my children home with my door unlocked?
Come on!

We have been very blessed. Our church is open 24/7. We don’t have a Perpetual Adoration chapel. However, recently, we’ve had incidents of vandalism in the Narthex, and in the Church. Nothing very damaging, just aggravating. Our Parish Council is reevaluating the unlocked Church policy.

Our town has a lot of drugs and gang activity, but we leave the church open during office hours and have cameras everywhere. People still try to break into the cash box under the votive candles or occasionally steal a candle and its glass cup. Homeless people will attempt to camp inside the church and bathe in the restrooms, or use drugs in there. Many young people, who were never taught by their parents to respect the property of others, skateboard on the outside stairs and write obscenities on the bathroom walls. Luckily nobody has tried to vandalize anything sacred, but the outside walls are occasionally tagged. However, most churches cannot afford a camera system or a guard (which we can’t afford either), so depending on the neighborhood, the church has to remain locked.