Eucharisticum Mysterium 58: Devotions

58. Devotion, both private and public, toward the sacrament of the altar even outside Mass that conforms to the norms laid down by lawful authority and in the present Instruction is strongly advocated by the Church, since the eucharistic sacrifice is the source and summit of the whole Christian life. [See Lumen gentium no. 11.]

So officially, the Church advocates Eucharistic devotion.

In structuring these devotional exercises, account should be taken of the norms determined by the Vatican Council II concerning the relationship to be observed between the liturgy and other, nonliturgical sacred services. Particular attention should be paid to this one: “These devotions should be so fashioned that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the liturgy, are in some way derived from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, by its very nature far surpasses any of them.” [Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 13.]

It would seem that the Consilium is suggesting that devotional forms be examined. More than that, they seem to expect that new forms will align with liturgical seasons. How would or should Eucharistic adoration and Benediction, to cite one example, be distinctive in Advent, Lent, Christmas, or Easter time?

In my parish, having Tuesday afternoons in Lent set aside for Eucharistic adoration has been traditional. It strikes me that extra hours are not enough, and that the Benediction following should be distinctive in some way. Or perhaps we’re talking about Scripture and other reflections during the prayer time. What would you say about this?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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