The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans is pleased to introduce expanded hours for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Beginning Monday, June 15, we will expose the Holy Eucharist every weekday from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, with the Holy Mass to follow.
Participants to asked to sign up, to assure at least two adorers/families will be present at all times.
Sign-up sheets are located in the Cathedral vestibule.
Will you consider devoting an hour of your time to spend in the presence of Jesus Christ?
+ Eucharist: Source and Summit! +
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The Eucharist so important, it is considered the center of the life of the particular Church (CCC 893). All the other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it (CCC 1324). In Catholic churches and chapels, the Eucharist is reserved in a secure metal receptacle called a Tabernacle. The dignity, placing, and security of the Eucharistic tabernacle fosters our adoration before the Lord, who is really present there (CCC 1183). The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine (CCC 1412).
+ Eucharistic Adoration +
During Eucharistic Adoration, the Body of Christ, under the appearance of bread is placed in a decorative sacred vessel called a monstrance, and placed on the altar. There, Christ’s faithful may give veneration and adoration of Jesus Christ who is sacramentally present: body, blood, soul, and divinity. The spiritual practice of adoration makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be united with Jesus Christ’s one offering (CCC 1368). Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator (cf. CCC 2628). When we pray to the Lord God, we adore and glorify him together with the Son and the Holy Spirit (CCC 2789). It is important to remember that when we worship God, we are set free from turning in on ourselves, from the slavery of sin, and from the idolatry of the world (CCC 2097).
+ Participation in Eucharistic Adoration +
Jesus desires that we enter into Eucharistic adoration. In his Discourse on the Eucharist, Jesus said “Indeed this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in Him, shall have everlasting life. Him I will raise up on the last day” (Jn 6.40). Many people who commit to weekly adoration have come to experience abundant graces and blessings in their lives.
+ Signing Up +
An organized schedule allows us to continue our spiritual journey of discipleship, to safeguard the Holy Eucharist, and to be good stewards of the health and wellness of our community. A minimum of two adorers are required at all times. Please consider signing up for an hour or more. Sign-up sheets are maintained in the cathedral vestibule. If you are unable to attend at your committed time, please arrange an alternate from among the other adorers.
During the coronavirus pandemic, we ask all adorers to maintain the precautionary guidelines implemented by Bishop Farncis I. Malone. This includes wearing facemasks, maintaining 6’ social distance, and sitting only in pews marked with signs. The Cathedral of St. John Berchmans has instituted a Sanitizing Ministry, and is following prudent measures to assure the safety of our parishioners and adorers.
+ Adoration Questions & Answers +
“101 Questions and Answers on the Eucharist”
The following questions and answers are excerpts from the book entitled 101 Questions and Answers on the Eucharist, published in 2006, by Dominican priest Giles Dimock, O.P.
82. What is eucharistic spirituality? Is it a devotion? Is it biblical? As we have seen, the Eucharist is the summit and the source of the life of the Church within the context of the liturgy. Clearly one’s Christian life, one’s way of prayer flows from the Eucharist. Thus it is a spirituality, not simply a “devotion,” as the term has come to be understood—an optional form of prayer to which one is especially drawn. Devotions are popular nonliturgical prayers (often private) that are warmly recommended by the Church (cf. S.C. no. 13) if they are in conformity with the teaching of the Church. One can see that while eucharistic adoration is popular (“of the people”) as an extension of the Mass, offering oneself in union with Christ’s sacrifice, it goes beyond merely private or individual prayer, although eucharistic prayer is clearly a part of such a spirituality.
62. What is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament? This is a medieval form of eucharistic devotion. In the Middle Ages the Mass was celebrated in Latin, whether sung at High Mass or read quietly as Low Mass, as was beginning to be the custom. After Berengar had been corrected for seeing the Eucharistic Presence as only symbolic, the practice of elevating the host immediately after the consecration became very popular. This was taken up by the people since much of their participation in Mass at the time was visual or expressed in postures and of course in silent prayer. Popular piety even assigned various blessings to be received for looking on the host that day. Monstrances (from the Latin monstrare, “to show”) and ostensoria (from the Latin ostendere, “to show”) were vessels of precious metal made with a crystal tube or window so that the host could be seen and adored. A vessel of either type was sometimes taken out of the ambry or sacrament tower to bless the people, or the latter was often designed with open grillwork so that the host was visible all day.
The current rite of Exposition is viewed as a continuation or extension of the Mass. This is seen particularly in the rite for a solemn Exposition, when it is recommended that a host be consecrated at the Mass for Exposition, that after Communion it be placed in the monstrance and the concluding prayer be said but that no blessing or dismissal be given. The Mass is extended to the period of Exposition, and Benediction at the end of such adoration is the blessing and dismissal (HCEWOM).
63. What is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament? Exposition grew in response to the medieval desire to see the Blessed Sacrament and to adore Christ in this sacrament of the Eucharist. At the end of Vespers or Compline (Evening Prayer and Night Prayer respectively), which were well attended in religious-order churches and even parish churches, the priest at the end of the service would take out the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance and the congregation would salute it with a hymn (hence the French term salut for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament) and often salute the Blessed Virgin Mary with the “Salve Regina” or other Marian hymn. The priest would then bless the people with the Blessed Sacrament much like the bishop can bless the people with the Gospel Book at Mass.
In the course of time Benediction became an independent ceremony in itself detached from the Liturgy of the Hours and, as has been said, became very popular in itself. Among Venerable John Henry Newman’s sermons there is a lovely one describing evening devotions ending with Benediction, the Lord blessing his people at the end of the day, and Newman sees it as an enactment of the blessing from the Book of Numbers: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Num 6:24–26).
67. May any prayer at all be said before the exposed Blessed Sacrament? HCEWOM (no. 95) states that there should be prayers, songs, and readings (from Scripture) “to direct the attention of the Faithful to the worship of Christ the Lord.” Since Christ is present in this sacrament of the altar, it would seem odd to have a public novena to St. Anthony before the Eucharist in the monstrance. The same would be true of prayers recited to Our Lady. Prayers, litanies, hymns, and chaplets to the Lord are appropriate, although attention should be given to the need for silence. Private prayers are left to one’s discretion.
One might further ask if this applies to the Rosary. A response to this query in Notitiae (1968, 4) stated that since the Rosary is classified as a Marian prayer, it could not be recited publicly before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. We must note that although Notitiae is an organ of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Notitiae’s responses are time conditioned and change. In 1974, Paul VI issued Marialis Cultus, in which he described the Rosary as a meditation on the paschal mystery, on the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, which shows it is appropriate and sufficiently Christic to pray before the Eucharist. After John Paul II instituted daily Eucharist adoration in the four major basilicas of Rome, the Rosary was recited publicly in these holy places before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Recently, the Congregation for Divine Worship has stated that the Rosary may be recited before the monstrance containing the Eucharist as long as the Eucharist was not exposed just to say the Rosary before it (Notitiae XXXIV : 501–11). Redemptionis Sacramentum calls the praying of the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament admirable and praises the simplicity and profundity of this prayer (no. 137).
“Reasons for Reserving the Eucharist; Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament” The following is an excerpt from the Instruction Eucharisticum Mysterium: Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, released in 1967, by the Vatican Sacred Congregation of Rites.
- The Mystery of the Eucharist as the Center of the Entire Life of the Church The catechesis of the eucharistic mystery should aim to help the faithful to realize that the celebration of the Eucharist is the true center of the whole Christian life both for the universal Church and for the local congregation of that Church.
- The Mystery of the Eucharist as the Focal Point of the Local Church It is through the Eucharist that “the Church continually lives and grows. This Church of Christ is truly present in all legitimate local congregations of the faithful which, united with their pastors, are called churches in the New Testament.
- The Nature of Active Participation in the Mass It should be made clear that all who gather for the Eucharist constitute that holy people which, together with the ministers, plays its part in the sacred action. It is indeed the priest alone, who, acting in the person of Christ, consecrates the bread and wine, but the role of the faithful in the Eucharist is to recall the passion, resurrection and glorification of the Lord, to give thanks to God, and to offer the immaculate victim not only through the hands of the priest, but also together with him; and finally, by receiving the Body of the Lord, to perfect that communion with God and among themselves which should be the product of participation in the sacrifice of the Mass. For the faithful achieve a more perfect participation in the Mass when, with proper dispositions, they receive the Body of the Lord sacramentally in the Mass itself, in obedience to his words “take and eat.” Like the passion of Christ itself, this sacrifice, though offered for all, “has no effect except in those united to the passion of Christ by faith and charity … To these things it brings a greater or less benefit in proportion to their devotion.”
- The Reasons for Reserving the Eucharist Outside Mass “It would be well to recall that the primary and original purpose of the reserving of the sacred species in church outside Mass is the administration of the Viaticum. Secondary ends are the distribution of communion outside Mass and the adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ concealed beneath these same species.” For “the reservation of the sacred species for the sick … led to the praiseworthy custom of adoring the heavenly food which is preserved in churches. This practice of adoration has a valid and firm foundation,” especially since belief in the real presence of the Lord has as its natural consequence the external and public manifestation of that belief.
- Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament When the faithful adore Christ present in the sacrament, they should remember that this presence derives from the sacrifice and is directed towards both sacramental and spiritual communion. In consequence, the devotion which leads the faithful to visit the Blessed Sacrament draws them into an ever deeper participation in the Paschal Mystery. It leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of him who through his humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of his body. Dwelling with Christ our Lord, they enjoy his intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before him for themselves and their dear ones, and pray for the peace and salvation of the world. They offer their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, and receive in this wonderful exchange an increase of faith, hope and charity. Thus they nourish those right dispositions which enable them with all due devotion to celebrate the memorial of the Lord and receive frequently the bread given us by the Father. The faithful should therefore strive to worship Christ our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, in harmony with their way of life.
 Vatican Council II : The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, electronic ed. of the new revised ed., vol. 1, Vatican Collection (Northport NY: Costello Publishing, 1992), 106, 107, 110–111, 129-130.