Dear ICC Family,
I recently received a complaint because I allowed Shawn, our sacristan, to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament during Holy Hour. Although Shawn is not an ordained minister (a priest or a deacon) he is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. According to canon law 943, an EM is allowed to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament when a priest or deacon is not present. They can’t do benediction (bless people with the monstrance), but they can take the large Host out of the Tabernacle and place it into the monstrance on the altar.
Back story: We have Holy Hour on the last Monday of each month from 7:00-8:00pm. We average two people. Sometimes, only one person is there. At that point, the Holy Hour, though publicized, resembles a private devotion more than liturgy (public worship). Now, technically speaking, when I say night prayer in my room before I go to bed, it’s “liturgy” because I’m praying on behalf of the whole church. But to have just one or two people at Holy Hour doesn’t seem like much of a parish event to me. Am I wrong?
Anyway, canon law notwithstanding, I told Shawn that I would repose the Blessed Sacrament from now on. And, in order to get more people to attend Holy Hour, I went to the Spanish Mass this weekend and invited them to attend the regular Holy Hour. The Spanish already have a Holy Hour as part of their charismatic service, and I hear (not surprisingly) it is well-attended. If only a couple of Spanish people attended the regular parish Holy Hour, that would double the normal attendance.
I promised the person who complained that I would put something in the bulletin to encourage better attendance at Holy Hour. So, here goes…
Pope Francis recently said he wants, “Catholics throughout the country to discover anew the sense of wonder and awe at the Lord’s great gift of himself and to spend time in the celebration of the Mass and in personal prayer and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.”
Here are 12 Biblical reasons I found for Eucharistic Adoration on the internet, courtesy of the Catholic News Agency:
- He is really there! “I myself am the living bread come down from heaven.” (Jn 6:35)
- Day and night Jesus dwells in the Blessed Sacrament because of his Infinite love for you! “Behold I will be with you always even to the end of the world,” because “I have loved you with an everlasting love, and constant is my affection for you.” (Mt 28:20; Jer 31:3)
- The specific way that Jesus asks you to love him in return is to spend one quiet hour with him in the Blessed Sacrament. “Where your treasure is, there is your heart….” “Could you not watch one hour with me?” (Mt 6:21; 26:40)
- When you look upon the Sacred Host, you look upon Jesus, the Son of God. “Indeed, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day.” (Jn 6:40)
- Each moment that you spend in His Eucharistic Presence will increase his divine life within you and deepen your personal relationship and friendship with him. “I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.” “I am the vine and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him shall bear much fruit because without me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)
- Each hour you spend with Jesus will deepen his divine peace in your heart. “Come to me all of you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you…” “Cast all of you anxieties upon the one who cares for you…” “My Peace is My Gift to you.” (Mt 11:28; Pt 5:7; Jn 14:17)
- Jesus will give you all the graces you need to be happy! “The Lamb on the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to the springs of life-giving water.” (Rev 7:17)
- Jesus is infinitely deserving of our unceasing thanksgiving and adoration for all he has done for our salvation. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honor, glory and praise.” (Rev. 5:12)
- For peace in our country! “When my people humble themselves and seek my presence… I will revive their land.” (2Chr 7:14)
- Each hour you spend with Jesus on earth will leave your soul everlastingly more beautiful and glorious in heaven! “They who humble themselves shall be exalted….” “All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into his very image.” (Lk 18:14; 2Cor 3:18)
- Jesus will bless you, your family and the whole world for this hour of faith you spend with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. “Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe…” “Faith can move mountains…” ” What is needed is trust… ” “Behold I come to make all things new.” (Jn 20:29; Mk 11:23; Mk 5:36; Rev 21:5)
- Each moment you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament brings joy, pleasure, and delight to his Sacred Heart! “My joy, my pleasure, my delight is to be with you.” (Prov 8:31)
Thank you, and God bless you!