Proper Devotion?

Proper Devotion?

Q. Is it acceptable to say the Rosary while the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration?

— Dan Stockman

A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:  

Many Catholics of a certain age grew up with infrequent Eucharistic adoration services characterized by absolute silence, except at the close, when the assembly would sing the hymns “O Salutaris” and “Tantum Ergo” to accompany benediction. In 1974, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops determined to expand Eucharistic worship and issued a set of guidelines for the United States, Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass.

The document suggests ways Eucharistic adoration might be incorporated into the larger context of community worship and prayer, such as exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during the Liturgy of the Hours. When adoration ends with benediction, “the blessing with the Eucharist is preceded by a suitable period for readings of the word of God, songs, prayers, and … time for silent prayer.” Solitary adoration is no longer the only option.

The bishops’ document states, “Celebration of the Eucharist is the center of the entire Christian life … the other sacraments, all the ministries of the Church, and the works of the apostolate are united with [it] and … directed toward it.” Every prayer, every good work ultimately leads to Christ, who offered himself for our salvation, so we enjoy immense freedom when we pray before the Eucharist.