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Online Edition - December 1997 / January 1998, Vol. III: No. 9


Eucharistic worship and devotion can lead to conversion and greater holiness of life

Archbishop Justin Rigali of Saint Louis recently reaffirmed the importance of Eucharistic adoration, "highly encouraged throughout the Archdiocese of Saint Louis", by providing instructions for this devotion, Eucharistic Adoration in the Archdiocese of St. Louis . Originally published in 1995, the guidelines were reprinted in the Advent/Christmas 1997 edition of Rite Notes , a publication of the archdiocesan Office of Worship.
"As the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, in communion with the universal Church, prepares for the great event of the Millennium, I invite our clergy, religious and laity to ever greater spiritual renewal through Eucharistic worship and devotion", Archbishop Rigali wrote.
"The worldwide experience of the Church in this postconciliar period is daily confirming the fact that God is working wonders of conversion and holiness of life in the lives of individuals and communities through the practice of Eucharistic adoration," observed Archbishop Rigali, who is a member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the archbishop noted, "is meant to call us back to a full, conscious and active participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament should always direct our hearts to the Table of the Lord from which we receive the Body and Blood of Christ as nourishment and strength for Christian living. All Eucharistic devotion is a source of active love for our neighbor and requires a commitment on our part to uphold justice and the dignity of every person redeemed by the Sacrifice of Christ."
The St. Louis guidelines consist of twelve specific instructions, including the following:
1. Eucharistic adoration is understood to include the worship of the Eucharist reserved in the tabernacle, as well as adoration during the exposition of the Eucharist contained in a ciborium or monstrance.
2. Exposition and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament may be incorporated into times of special prayer, for example during retreats and days of recollection. The exposition may appropriately be for either an extended or a shorter period of time, during which the presence of at least one of the faithful is required.
3. In churches where the Eucharist is regularly reserved, it is recommended that there be an annual solemn exposition of the Eucharist for an extended period of time, even if this period is not strictly continuous (cf. can. 942).
4. This extended period of exposition may be most appropriately celebrated on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. It may also take the form of the Forty Hours' Devotion. Other guidelines gave direction for perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the place of Eucharistic exposition ("generally in the main body of the church or in the chapel containing the tabernacle where the Eucharist is ordinarily reserved"), the minister of exposition with benediction (always a priest or deacon) or without benediction (may be an acolyte or extraordinary minister of Holy Communion).

The address of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is
4445 Lindell Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63108
(Phone: 314-533-1887)

For information on the Adoremus Eucharistic Adoration booklet, click here .


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