Holy Family Parish to have extended Exposition and Adoration of the Eucharist for the whole season of Lent. The goal is to offer “Twelve Hours of Grace” from Monday to Friday each week of Lent. To do this, Holy Family would need approximately 100 people willing to commit to a dedicated prayer hour for each of the six-weeks of Lent following the morning 8a Mass until 8p (we will actually stop short at 2p on Fridays to permit the Stations of the Cross by the school and parish).
Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament is spending time with Jesus. In “Adoration”, it is the presence of Jesus Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. An extra host (bread) is consecrated at Holy Mass and then placed in a receptacle called a monstrance which is then set upon the altar in the church. The monstrance allows the host to be displayed so all can see our Lord, hidden under the appearance of bread. Thus, the whole church becomes a sort of tabernacle, a dwelling place of God.
In order for our Lord to be exposed in a monstrance and present in this way, there must always be two people in the church for Adoration. Why two people? Two people are present to pray with our Lord (to adore, thank, ask, read, study, meditate, etc.), but they are also there to guard the Blessed Sacrament. There could be just one person, but what if that person got sick, had to go the bathroom or had an emergency. Two people is ideal, it is the buddy system and fulfills Scripture that God sent them out in pairs. There can be more than 2 of course, but 2 is the minimum. Whole families could come. Married or dating couples. Groups of friends. It gives a new layer of meaning “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.”
What does one ‘do’ during a holy hour? Largely, that is up to you. You may bring your own prayer books, use the books in the chapel, read the Bible, pray the rosary, or just sit and relax and enjoy the sweet peace that comes from being in the Presence of God. Many might spend part of the hour reading the Scriptures or reflecting on the readings for the coming Sunday. You can do or say nothing, and just be with Christ. You can intercede for your own concerns or bring them face-to-face to Christ for the sake of others. Many spend the time to review their life spiritually and morally to reflect with Christ how their Christian discipleship is going. I will put together some binders with possible prayers for people to use. An hour can sound like a long time or you may feel that you can’t pray well.
Don’t let this discourage you. The mere fact that you take time out at a specific time each week to spend an hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament pleases Him very much and is in itself a prayer of great Faith. Sometimes, the real fruit of Eucharistic Adoration comes after repeated hours spent. It can bring about a slow subtle change in your heart, your outlook, your life.
This Lenten Eucharistic Exposition and Adoration is an opportunity for a large majority of our parishioners to have a weekly scheduled time to be with the Lord in silent prayer. The Mass is wonderful and Exposition could never replace it, but we also know that Mass has its distractions and busyness. Exposition is an invitation to meditate and relate more intimately with Christ. It is an opportunity for our parish to be a place of prayer and worship. That is a gift!