Short History of Eucharistic Adoration
Victoria Tufano; http://www.uscatholic.org
Some may wonder if this is something new, or why do we do this? I found this article that gives some of the history of adoration, and may help you decide if this is something you might want to try this Lent. If you are not sure, you can just come a time or two, for a half hour, or for even 15 minutes. At least one door will be open, and you may come and go as you please, whether you have signed up for a particular time or not.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is not something new. It is a centuriesold practice rooted in an essential teaching of Catholic Christianity: Jesus Christ is truly and completely present in the Eucharist. Like many practices of our faith, however, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament developed gradually.
In the earliest years of Christianity, consecrated bread would be brought home from the celebration of the Eucharist to be given to those not able to be present at the liturgy because of illness. It was also to be consumed by the faithful during the week to keep them connected to the Eucharist and the community they celebrated with.
In about the fourth century monasteries began to reserve the Eucharist, and by the 11th century, reservation—still mainly for the sick and dying—was a regular feature of churches. While reverence was certainly given to Christ present in the sacrament, it was not yet customary to pray before the reserved sacrament.
In the 11th century the French monk Berengar of Tours began to teach that the bread and wine in the celebration of the Eucharist could not change physically into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Pope Gregory VII demanded a retraction from Berengar saying that the body and blood of Christ were truly present in the Eucharist. This resulted in a refining of the church’s teaching on the real presence. In response, Eucharistic devotion burst forth throughout Europe: processions, visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and other prayers focused on the reserved sacrament became part of Catholic life.
Around the same time, elevations of the bread and the wine were added to the Eucharistic prayer at Mass. For some, the moment of seeing the consecrated host overshadowed the rest of the liturgy. Times of extended exposition of the Blessed Sacrament outside the Mass grew out of this action, and eventually a blessing with the exposed Eucharist, or benediction, developed.
The feast of Corpus Christi developed in the 13th and 14th centuries. Processions became traditional on this day, and other devotions, including adoration, gained popularity. Eucharistic Congresses, held since the late 19th century (most recently in Canada in 2008), continue to promote this devotion.
Since the Second Vatican Council, a great deal of attention has focused on the reform of the liturgy and a deepening of Eucharistic theology and piety, but the practice of adoration remained in many places. Like the practice of the earliest Christians, adoration can keep us connected to the community’s celebration of the Eucharist.
SignUp Sheets are at the main entrance of both churches if you are interested this Lent. If the times are filled, we will have Eucharistic Adoration on Fridays during Lent following the morning Mass until 8:00 AM on Saturday. We will have 8:00 AM Mass on Saturdays during Lent unless we have a funeral.
Building the Future... Preserving the Past
FROM THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE
Thank you for your interest in Prairie Catholic Schools. St. Gabriel’s campus is our elementary school, and encompasses grades Pre-K though 4th, and St. John’s campus is our middle school which entails grades 5th through 8th. Additionally, on-site daycare is available at the St. Gabriel’s campus.
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A Catholic school offers a unique environment with very special opportunities for its students to grow spiritually. Prairie Catholic is no different. Our setting allows educators to share their faith and values while educating their students, your children. We are committed to helping children grow in faith and love and to display respect and fellowship. Prairie Catholic does not discriminate based on faith and includes many non-Catholic families. These families appreciate our caring, student-centered environment that teaches children to follow Christ’s command to love one another and treat others with respect.
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