DO YOU REGULARLY VISIT THE BLESSED SACRAMENT? In Part 29 of my years-long series on the 2022-2025 National Eucharistic Revival, we look, once again, at Eucharistic Adoration. As I mentioned last week, the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in most Catholic churches and other places; the ‘sign’ or ‘signal’ that the Lord Jesus’ Real Presence is in the Tabernacle is a Sanctuary Lamp or Candle burning nearby. There, He waits for us to stop by, to spend even just a few moments in prayer, so He can refresh, renew and restore us. However, there are times when we must make more time for Him …

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY’ PARISH FEAST DAY. By Parish custom, we conduct formal Eucharistic Adoration during Solemn Evening Prayer with Benediction on our Feast Day weekend. Like other Parishes named ‘Saint Mary,’ our Parish was placed under the patronage of Our Lady under one of her many titles. We were entrusted to ‘Our Lady of the Rosary’ which was once calledOur Lady of Victories.’ It commemorated the October 7, 1571, victory of the vastly outnumbered Christian naval forces over Ottoman Turks in the Gulf of Lepanto, Greece. Thus, each year, on a weekend close to or on October 7, we celebrate our Parish Feast Day.

On our Feast Day Sunday, the 12:00 noon Mass ends without a blessing; the Blessed Sacrament is enshrined in a glass Lunette, placed in a cross-shaped Monstrance, which allows the Host to be visible. After reverencing the exposed Eucharist with incense, the Priest chants a prayer, genuflects, and leaves. From then, until Solemn Evening Prayer at 4:00 pm, various Parish groups and individuals spend some time in adoration and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Before Evening Prayer, our magnificent Music Ministry offers various Marian hymns in a spectacular Holy Hour. The Service concludes with a special Eucharistic Blessing given by the Priest with the Blessed Sacrament who uses it to make the Sign of the Cross over all present. After falling into disuse for a few decades, Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction are making a comeback!

FIRST TUESDAYS. On the First TUESDAY of the month, except when not possible [i.e.: All Saints Day or All Souls Day], we conduct a Holy Hour before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. All are invited to spend time before the Eucharist in this Holy Hour; it includes prayers, incense, and the Eucharistic Blessing.

HOLY THURSDAY UNTIL NIGHT PRAYER. From the end of Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper until the end of Night Prayer at 11:00 PM, we also ‘Keep Watch’ with the Blessed Sacrament. The Tabernacle is left empty from before Holy Thursday’s Mass until the end of the Easter Vigil Mass. On Good Friday, from the 8:30 AM Morning Prayer until the 3:00 PM Celebration of Lord’s Passion and Death, all are encouraged to ‘make a visit’ to thank the Lord for redeeming us by His Passion and Death. All should visit the Place of Repose where the Blessed Sacrament remains until it is consumed at the 3 PM Service.

RELIGIOUS FORMATION [RF] CHILDREN. At our Feast Day’s Eucharistic Adoration, our Candidates for First Penance/First Holy Communion and Confirmation conduct a brief Adoration Service.

SUMMER 2024. In summer of 2024, during the Cycle ‘B’ series of readings, 5 weeks [the 17 th to the 21 st Sunday in Ordinary Time] are devoted to the ‘Bread of Life Discourse’ from Saint John’s Gospel, Chapter 6. [In Cycle ‘B’ we read from Saint Mark’s Gospel, the shortest Gospel, so we use the chapter of Saint John’s Gospel which inspired the beloved hymn, ‘I Am the Bread of Life’ by Suzanne Toolan, RSM. We offer 4 versions of EA: 1] in the large Ciborium in which the reserved Sacrament is usually kept, with a traditional chant; 2] the same, with a modern Eucharistic hymn and incense; 3] in a Monstrance with a simple hymn; 4] the same, with the Solemn Benediction, or Blessing, incense, venerable Latin chant, ‘Tantum Ergo,’ during which the Priest wears the festive humeral veil, similar to a Jewish Prayer Shawl.

Happy Father’s Day; may our Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar bring us all closer to the Lord and to His Church.

With God’s love and my prayers,

Very Rev. Michael J. Kreder, VF, KCHS