Many Catholics love to adore Jesus through adoration at the Catholic church. But what exactly is it? When did it start, and how did we learn to worship Jesus this way?
Let’s break down what eucharistic adoration is and why it’s necessary to attend.
What Is Eucharistic Adoration?
Adoration at the Catholic Church refers to the worship of the Blessed Sacrament outside of typical Mass. The priest will expose the Eucharist on the altar in a monstrance, and churchgoers are invited to pray to Jesus and praise him either in silence or with music.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, adoration “exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil” (CC 2628).
Adoration typically ranges from an hour to two and a half hours, but some churches are blessed to have perpetual adoration chapels, where churchgoers can adore the Blessed Sacrament any hour of the day for as long as they desire. Participants are invited to pray with the bible, pray a rosary, sing along with music if offered, or just simply be in the presence of The Lord.
Where Does Eucharistic Adoration Originate From?
Through the centuries, the church fought whether Jesus’s real presence could be found in the bread and wine once a priest performed transubstantiation. While the traditions of what Adoration in the Catholic Church typically included have changed over time, it all started with Jesus praying on the Mount of Olives the night before his crucifixion.
Matthew recalls in Chapter 26, Verses 36–40, “Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?’”
Jesus desires for us to sit and pray with Him, especially since He thirsts for our affection. Many Catholics will pray with Jesus for an hour in adoration because the Apostles couldn’t stay up with Jesus. His prayer on the Mount of Olives also reminds us we can always find a special place to pray with God, whether it be in a church, outdoors, or another special prayer space.
Why Do We Need Eucharistic Adoration?
In the thirteenth century, Pope Urban IV established the feast of Corpus Christi, which celebrates the desire for Christ to be with us physically forever. St. Thomas Aquinas, who the pope commissioned to create the Liturgy of the Hours for this feast, stated that God became man so that he could not only die on the cross but also exist with us after His Resurrection.
Adoration at the Catholic Church is a beautiful way to praise Jesus for His sacrifice on the cross and to seek guidance from God, who desires the best for us.