Eucharistic Adoration

My wife and I were talking about all the things we like about Catholicism. But the one sticking point we both share is Eucharistic Adoration.

I understand that the Eucharist is the true body and blood of Christ. The Real Presence is not the issue. It is the specific reason for the Eucharist and how it should be treated. It seems pretty clear to me that Christ instituted the Sacrament as food and drink because it is to be consumed. I don’t understand why we should do anything other than consume the Eucharist. That is what it is given for.

Christ said to take and eat. He did not instruct us to gaze upon, or adore the elements but to eat them. I know that it cannot be idolatous to worship Christ in the Sacrament apart from the receiving of it. But I do wonder if it is appropriate.

Also, what is done with the Eucharist that is not consumed and used for adoration?


It is placed in the tabernacle and the priest distributes it at the next Mass.

Mel, I highly recommend you go to an adoration for an hour, I love the hours between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. if for nothing else but the quiet. Do this several times, don’t “sign up” for specific hours, just drop in. ask your wife to do the same. After you’ve each gone a few times, go together. I truly love adoration. My love for it began with questions like you’ve asked.
May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, be with you.

I agree with Tom. For me, adoration is a remarkable time spent with my Lord.



What do you mean by “adore the elements”?

Catholics give adoration to their Lord.

… do not be faithless, but believing." Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

John 20:27-29

The Real Presence IS the WHOLE issue.
The description “body, blood, soul and divinity” applies to the Eucharist. That pretty much says it all.
If you truly believe this, then you will have no problem. If you do not, you might as well be eating an ordinary piece of toast.
God bless you, brother.

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ - St. Jerome

i don’t think it IS the issue. our friend has asked a legitimate question, and one i don’t know the answer to. the question is: the body and blood were prescribed to be EATEN, not to be set up on a table and worshiped. how have we made the conversion to adoration?

now, i state unequivocally that i believe the practice to be wholly acceptable and correct, because it’s been declared by rome to be so, and i trust, and am obedient to, the Church, most especially our Pope.

but i AM interested in learning the answer to this good question. anyone?

I understand the Real Presence. But the Eucharist is Christ in a unique form. So in the unique form we don’t expect him to do things He did in bodily form (eat, walk etc.). So I am just confused as to why we should worship Him is a certain way in the Eucharist. Since the Eucharits is to be consumed why do we go beyond that? I am having trouble articulating my apprehension. Hopefully someone will see through more poor writing to what I am getting at.

In other words why does “take, eat” become “take and adore then eat”.


i understand your question. it might just be a ‘logical conclusion’ of sorts. if it IS the body and blood of Jesus, then it is worthy of our worship. we DO take and eat. why not adore as well?

but these are just my meanderings. i’m hoping someone comes along with some good knowledge of church teaching on the issue and clears it up for you (and me).

Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate the support. :slight_smile:

We also genuflect when the Eucharist is present. We aren’t eating it, but we do show proper respect, “every knee shall bend”. Truthfully I didn’t think of it much until I began going. Our parish has perpetual adoration, I volunteer as a substitute during late night and early morning only, 10:00 p.m. till 5:00 a.m. due to family schedules. Believe it or not, I am thankful when called. Please don’t ask me to explain, I don’t think I can.

could you explain that, please?


LOL, thanks :smiley:

This would be a great question to submit to a staff apologist in the “Ask an Apologist” forum – where this practice began.

I was one who didn’t think there was anything special about Eucharistic Adoration; after all, you can talk with Jesus anytime, anywhere.

Then a friend asked me to take a regular hour at their parish which was beginning perpetual adoration (our parish has it only on Fridays). I said yes because I thought the quiet prayer time would be nice, plus it would give me a change to experience and explore this devotion myself.

WOW! I can tell you that God has changed my heart regarding my appreciation and love for Him in the Eucharist! I look forward to my weekly hour and sometimes try to go another time or two during the week. So I do not doubt the value of this practice, but am unsure exactly how it began.

I do remember hearing (perhaps on Catholic Answers?) that the reservation of extra bread, or hosts, began in order to minister to those who were sick or in prison, so they could receive Jesus. Then the realization that we must store the Body and Blood of Jesus in a safe and sacred place; then people praying before the Tabernacle; then exposition and benediction.

Anyone else know of this history?

At a priests’ retreat, there was a discussion of how to deal with loneliness. One of the priests, pastor of a small church without Eucharistic adoration, made a comment like this: “Whenever I get lonely at night, I go over to the church, take a host out of the tabernacle, put it in the monstrance, and set it on the altar. Then I pull up a chair, and I begin to talk to Jesus. After awhile I’m not lonely anymore.”

Guess that doesn’t answer the original question, but it’s a story I heard that seems to fit here.

I respectfully disagree.
The Real Presence IS the whole issue.
Jesus is present body, blood, soul and divinity. That is to say that he is WHOLLY present in the Sacred Species. Only to believe in anything less would make adoration of the Eucharist questionable.

God bless you brother.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ” - St. Jerome

An interesting question.

It is called Eucharistic “Adoration”…so I suppose there is real ‘adoring’ going on during this time, but I don’t know about the ‘worship’ part.

This is how I’ve come to see it (I could be wrong, and if so, people - please correct me if I am)…

Christ is wholly present in the consecrated host…body, blood, soul & divinity.
By having it placed in the encasement for viewing (I don’t know the word for this piece, but ours is absolutlely gorgeous and awe-inspiring) I am able to physically visit my Lord.

I know if He were to appear before me in human form I would immediately ‘adore’ Him and thank Him for all He has done for us, then start asking a zillion questions. :stuck_out_tongue:

And that’s how I view my time with Him during Eucharistic Adoration. I know we’ve always been encouraged to sit in a chapel or visit an empty church at any hour we felt in need of His presence, especially when the Eucharist is in the tabernacle with the candles lit beside it, and that has always provided a level of peace and comfort.

But, honestly…visit during Eucharistic Adoration and you will be amazed with the difference of the depth and intensity of that peace and comfort. Something really does happen to you inside when you spend an hour in the Real Presence of the Consecrated Christ.

That’s the only way I can explain it. People usually say ‘seeing is believing’. I think in this case, “Feeling is believing”.

Keep in mind that the time spent during EA is totally devoted to reflection on/with Christ. I don’t know if you get the same experience if you go there thinking about other things like your shopping list or when the hour’s going to be up 'cause there are errands you have to do, or ‘gee, wonder what that person’s thinking about’. You can reflect on matters which are troubling you - such as the health of a loved one, the distance of a teenage child developing between you, a strained relationship with a spouse or friend, your weakness with a particular tendency to sin - if by reflecting on those you are including Jesus, right in front of you, in your thoughts, heart and soul - I think that’s where the beauty of this experience lies.

Of course, I’m new at this EA practice…so, again, I might be off the mark a bit - but that’s my take on it so far.

I would be grateful if my Roman brethren could explain something for me. Belonging to one of the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome we do not practice Eucharstic Adoration, but I have seen it done in some Roman Catholic parishes I have visited. So…

We all agree God is omni-present, we also all agree in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. If He is present in the tabernacle, what difference does it make when a consecrated host is placed in a monstrance for ‘adoration’? The same Christ, really present, but now in a special container rather than the tabernacle. As for “seeing” Christ, considering the size of the Host and the distance most of the faithful are from the monstrance what can one actually see? From my experience - not much, usually nothing. (This excludes those who attend small parishes or have separate, small chapels for Adoration.)

Basically I’m trying to understand what is so special/different about a Host being brought out of the tabernacle.

I have no desire to belittle or debunk the practice. Since it is so important to so many people, I would just like to understand.

Right on YinYangMom! Your description is perfect. I have started going to Adoration daily because I have been in a devastating trial for near a year now. But recently I started feeling a sense of peace like I have never felt. Just inner peace that I get from my visits with the Lord. Though not much has changed ( in an earthly sense) to make my situation better.

I told my friend just today, I feel like I am on Prozac, where nothing bothers me or gets me emotionally wound up. I did have a break through with my trial recently and also found that I kept a nice level keel. Like I can keep my peace whether abasing or abounding.

It has been a long journey, but without Adoration, I am certain I would have this sense of peace.

And as Tom said in his post, he cannot explain it – nor can I…but I LOVE Adoration.

I do make my children go with me once a week and I have completely noticed a difference in their behavior. We have been blessed

It is my understanding, and I state again that I am new at this practice, that it isn’t required on our part to do this…but another avenue toward strengthening our relationship with God - along the lines of devotional prayers and novenas. Though I vaguely recall EA being something called on us to participate in through Mary??? I’m not certain about that, perhaps someone more trained in EA can explain the history of the practice. I was exposed to it through the Divine Mercy Chaplet group at our parish, so I thought it had something to do with St. Faustina?? I haven’t finished reading the materials yet.

I suppose matters such as these depend upon the faith of the follower. Kind of like Thomas and the others…he needed that one extra step of touching the wounds to make that leap of faith. I’m certain reflecting upon the concecrated host in a closed tabernacle is as spiritually moving for many. But there are those, like me, for some reason, who are particularly moved on a deeper level when it’s right before our eyes, not locked away.

As for the monstrance (thanks for finding the word for that)…ours is wonderful. It’s a gold statuette about 16" high of Christ (almost in the Sacred Heart pose)…directly on top of his head is the glass casing which holds the host…and from that casing individual long rays of gold/silver strands flare out (kind of looking like a bicycle wheel without the outer rim that holds the tire), making the monstrance taller and wider. It is brought to the center of the chapel and placed on a small table so that the furthest visitor is no more than 4-5’ from it. The chapel is small so one gets the sense that He is standing in the center of the room. Close your eyes and it’s hard not to literally feel His presence, and yet when you open your eyes, they directly focus on the host - not the monstrance itself. That, I find particularly fascinating, how it’s hard to take your eyes off the host.

Perhaps another way to understand it would be comparing it to Good Friday veneration. We view the cross with Christ nailed to it every day at Mass. But when the cross is covered and on Good Friday the bare cross is used for veneration, somehow that has a more profound affect on followers. It takes the usual reflection to a deeper level, making it more real somehow. And yet, I’m certain many followers have that same experience daily at Mass with the usual crucifix.

Does that help?
Does that make sense to those of you here who also do EA or am I off the mark?