This is a liturgical service of exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, concluding with a blessing (Latin: benedictio) of the people with the sacrament.
The ceremony consists of:
The blessing may only be done by a cleric (i.e. a bishop, priest or deacon). In the absence of a priest or deacon, or if they are lawfully impeded, authorised lay people may do the ceremony. "It is not lawful, however, for them to give the blessing with the sacrament." (Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, n. 91).
The ceremony may be done with the Blessed Eucharist in a monstrance or ciborium. If the monstrance is used there also needs to be four or six lighted candles and incense used. If the ciborium is used "at least two candles should be lighted and incense may be used" (Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, n. 85).
If the minister is a priest or deacon he is to wear:
a. an alb and stole; or
b. a surplice over a cassock and stole
For the blessing using the ciborium, the priest or deacon also wears a humeral veil. For the blessing using the monstrance the priest or deacon also wears a cope and humeral veil. (Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (1973) , n. 92, directs a white cope is to be worn. However the Ceremonial of Bishops (1984), n. 1104 directs that the cope be "white or of some other festive color". It seems reasonable that this be followed by a deacon and priest, as well as a bishop.)
Other ministers should wear either the liturgical vestments which are usual in the region or the vesture which is suitable for this ministry and which has been approved by the Ordinary.
Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (1973)
Differences in unofficial books
The liturgical books make no mention of the Divine Praises. Despite this unofficial books include them:
The liturgical books specifically instruct to genuflect on one kneel, yet:
I disagree and believe the liturgical books should be faithfully followed, in accordance with Canon 846.
This is not what the liturgical books say. People are receiving a blessing to conclude the ceremony. They should not be distracted by the thurifier moving, incense, bells or the priest returning to lead the Divine Praises before the reposition.
Ceremonial of Bishops (1984)
"1103. Genuflection in the presence of the blessed sacrament exposed for public adoration is on one knee. (Latin text: Coram Sacramento publicae adorationi exposito, unico genu flectitur.)"
"1109. The bishop rises, the censerbearer goes to him, and, as the deacon holds the incense boat before him, the bishop puts incense into the censer and blesses it. Kneeling, the bishop takes the censer from the deacon, bows together with the ministers assisting him, then incenses the blessed sacrament. After again bowing to the blessed sacrament, he returns the censer to the deacon."
"1114. After the blessing, the deacon takes the monstrance from the hands of the bishop and places it on the altar. The bishop and the deacon genuflect. While the bishop removes the humeral veil and remains kneeling before the altar, the deacon reverently transfers the blessed sacrament to the place of reservation, where he returns it to the tabernacle, genuflects, and closes the tabernacle.
Meanwhile, the people may sing or recite an acclamation."
Directory for Popular Piety and the Liturgy (December 2001) of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
164. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a form of Eucharistic cult which is particularly widespread in the Church and earnestly recommended to her Pastors and faithful. Its initial form derives from Holy Thursday and the altar of repose, following the celebration of the Coena Domini Mass. This adoration is a most apt way of expressing the connection between the celebration of the memorial of the Lord's Sacrifice and his continued presence in the Sacrament of the Altar. The reservation of the Sacred Species, so as to be able to administer Viaticum to the sick at any time, encouraged the practice among the faithful of recollection before the tabernacle and to worship Christ present in the Sacrament [Footnote 175: Cf. PIUS XII, Encyclical letter Mediator Dei in AAS 39 (1947) 568-572; PAUL VI, Encyclical letter Mysterium fidei in AAS 57 (1965) 769-772; SACRED CONGREGATION OF RITES, Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium, nn. 49-50, in AAS 59 (1967) 566-567; RITUALE ROMANUM, De sacra communione et de cultu mycteria eucharistici extra Missam, cit., 5.]
Indeed, this worship of adoration has a sound and firm foundation," especially since faith in the Lord's real presence has as its natural consequence the outward and public manifestation of that belief. Therefore, the devotion prompting the faithful to visit the blessed sacrament draws them into an ever deeper share in the paschal mystery and leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of him who through his humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of his Body. Abiding with Christ the Lord, they enjoy his intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before him for themselves and for those dear to them and they pray for the peace and salvation of the world. Offering their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, they derive from this sublime colloquy an increase of faith, hope, and charity. Thus they foster those right dispositions that enable them with due devotion to celebrate the memorial of the Lord and receive frequently the bread given us by the Father.[Footnote 176: SACRED CONGREGATION OF RITES, Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium, nn. 49-50.]
165. In adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which can take different forms, several elements deriving from the Liturgy and from popular piety come together and it is not always easy to determine their limits [Footnote177: On the matter of indulgences attached to Eucharistic adoration and processions, cf. EI, Aliae concessiones, 7, pp. 54-55.]
The faithful should be encouraged to read the Scriptures during
these periods of adoration, since they afford an unrivalled source
of prayer. Suitable hymns and canticles based on those of the
Liturgy of the Hours and the liturgical seasons could also be
encouraged, as well as periods of silent prayer and reflection.
Gradually, the faithful should be encouraged not to do other
devotional exercises during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
[Footnote180: Cf. Reply ad dubium on n. 62 of the Instruction
Eucharisticum mysterium, in Notitiae 34 (1998)
133-134; concerning the Rosary, see the following note.] Given
the close relationship between Christ and Our Lady, the rosary
can always be of assistance in giving prayer a Christological
orientation, since it contains meditation of the Incarnation
and the Redemption [Footnote 181: Cf. PAUL VI, Apostolic Exhortation
Marialis cultus, 46; Letter of the Congregation for Divine
Worship and the Discipline pf the Sacraments (15.1.1997), in
Notitiae 34 (1998) 506-510; see also the rescript of the
Apostolic Penitentiary of 8 March 1996, in Notitiae 34
Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum
This Instruction of 25 March 2004 makes it clear that the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance is never to be unattended:
"138. Still, the Most Holy Sacrament, when exposed, must never be left unattended even for the briefest space of time."
The Conclusion of this document has "All things to the contrary notwithstanding."
Posted by J.R. Lilburne, 30 July 2002. Updated 3 November 2002, 7 November 2002, 28 April 2004, 17 November 2004.