“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”Matthew 7:7
What is Mass?
“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1323)
“The celebration of Mass, as the action of Christ and of the People of God arrayed hierarchically, is the center of the whole of Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually. For in it is found the high point both of the action by which God sanctifies the world in Christ and of the worship that the human race offers to the Father, adoring him through Christ, the Son of God, in the Holy Spirit. In it, moreover, during the course of the year, the mysteries of redemption are celebrated so as to be in some way made present. As to the other sacred actions and all the activities of the Christian life, these are bound up with it, flow from it, and are ordered to it.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, #16)
The Sacrament of the Eucharist is called “Holy Mass (Missa), because the liturgy in which the mystery of salvation is accomplished concludes with the sending forth (missio) of the faithful, so that they may fulfill God’s will in their daily lives.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1332)
What is Eucharistic devotion?
Devotions to the Eucharist are invitations to prayer and contemplation continuing a relationship with Christ experienced from participation in Mass. Examples of Eucharistic devotions include Adoration, Holy Hours, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and Eucharistic Congresses.
“The celebration of the eucharist in the sacrifice of the Mass is the true origin and purpose of the worship shown to the eucharist outside Mass.” (Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Prot. No. 900/73.)
What is Eucharistic Adoration?
Eucharistic adoration is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament housed within the tabernacle. Adoration is a time of prayer individually and collectively before the Blessed Sacrament; a time of pious contemplation for encountering Christ. It includes “prayers, songs, and readings to direct the attention of the faithful to the worship of Christ the Lord.” (Holy Communion and worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass.) There should also be sufficient time for silent prayer, to experience the presence of God through the simplicity of silence.
What is Eucharistic Exposition?
Eucharistic Exposition is the ritual by which the Blessed Sacrament is displayed outside the tabernacle in a monstrance or ciborium for public veneration by the faithful. The ritual includes silence, song, meditation and incensation. Exposition “is intended to acknowledge Christ’s marvelous presence in the sacrament.” (Holy Communion and worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass.)
What is Benediction?
Benediction is the rite used at the end of the period of Adoration. It includes a hymn and incense. The priest or deacon blesses those present by making the sign of the cross with the monstrance or ciborium before replacing the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.
What is the Real Presence?
The Real Presence refers to the belief and doctrine that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Eucharist: his body, blood, soul, and divinity. Ordinary bread and wine are transformed by the Holy Spirit during the ritual of Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. By his Real Presence in the Eucharist Christ fulfils his promise to be with us “always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
From Eucharistic Prayer III:
“For on the night he was betrayed he himself took bread, and giving you thanks he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT: FOR THIS IS MY BODY WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took the chalice, and giving you thanks he said the blessing, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT: FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT; WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.”
In scripture: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” (John 6: 51, 56)
What are Holy Hours?
“Holy hours are the Roman Catholic devotional tradition of spending an hour in Eucharistic Adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The bishops have created a variety of holy hours that focus our prayer to Jesus Christ on peace, life, vocations, and other topics that are at the heart of the life of the Church and the world.” (https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/eucharistic-devotion)
“And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?’” (Mark 14:37)
What is Forty Hours Devotion?
In 40 Hours Devotion, the consecrated Eucharist is exposed on the altar in a monstrance for adoration for 40 hours of unwearied prayer: “the incense of prayer shall ascend without intermission before the face of the Lord.” (Graves et Diuturnae, Pope Clement VIII). The tradition is tied to repentance, and usually observed during Lent or Advent. 40 hours comes from the 40 hours that Christ’s body traditionally rested in the tomb. St. John Neumann was the first church leader in America to practice the devotion in 1844, first begun in Italy in 1527.
What is Perpetual Exposition/Adoration?
The Blessed Sacrament may be adored while contained in the tabernacle for an extended period of time. Perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is a liturgical act with the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance or ciborium on an altar for public worship by the faithful, both during the day and throughout the night, seven days a week. Scripture, songs, and prayers are included. Perpetual Adoration must take place in a chapel that is not being used for Mass.
What is the observance of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ?
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is also known as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. It is a liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)
What is a Eucharistic procession?
A Eucharistic procession is a form of liturgical prayer, a public witness of reverence affirming the Eucharist as the Real Presence. A priest carries a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament through public streets followed by the faithful. A Eucharistic procession often follows Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
What is a Eucharistic Congress?
A Eucharistic Congress is a gathering of people to celebrate the Real Presence in the Eucharist through lectures, seminars, discussions, Mass, and Adoration. It promotes awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Church.
What is the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours?
The Liturgy of the Hours is the daily, public prayer of the Church. “From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” (Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, Prot. N. 1000/71
The Hours involves praying Scripture at fixed hours of the day into night and includes readings, Psalms, and intercessions. Although well known among clergy and religious, “The Laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with priests, or among themselves, or even individually.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1323)
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition, 1997
- General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 2002
- Rediscovering the Mass
- The Eucharist
- Eucharistic Devotion
- Perpetual Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
- Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, NCCB, 1976
- Introduction to the Order of the Mass: A Pastoral Resource of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, USCCB, 2003
- Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist, USCCB, 1996
- Thirty-One Questions on Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, USCCB, 2004
- The Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, NCCB, 2001
- Book of Readings on the Eucharist, USCCB,2006
- Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963