O Come Let Us Adore Him: Adoration is a simple way to embrace Jesus in prayer in 2024

December 26, 2023

Father James Burkart, pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Spring, prays with the congregation before the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration on Nov. 29. Below, students and faculty at Frassati Catholic High School kneel and pray in Eucharistic adoration. Far below, Father Burkart blesses a group of young children during a Eucharistic procession for the Feast of Christ the King.  For more resources on Eucharistic adoration and prayer, visit www.archgh.org/revival. (Photos by James Ramos/Herald and Michelle Eisterhold)

SPRING — In the face of rainy, windy and wintery weather and even traffic, Catholics from four different parishes and a nearby Catholic high school came out in force to worship and adore Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration.

Moving from one Spring-area parish to another, a four-day Eucharistic procession was accompanied by devotional prayer services, Masses and confession lines to mark the feast of Christ the King and embrace a Eucharistic spirituality as inspired by the Eucharistic Revival.

From Nov. 27 to Nov. 30, clergy, parish leaders and laity at Prince of Peace, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Christ the Good Shepherd and St. Edward parishes joined women religious, students and faculty at St. Edward School and Frassati Catholic High School for a daily driving procession complete with Vatican flags.

The Blessed Sacrament was processed in a secured mini-bus, visible to the public, from parish to parish. St. Edward students welcomed the procession with a path of rose petals. At each parish, faithful spent hours in Eucharistic adoration, prayer and worship.

Embracing Adoration

As the year winds down, spending time in Eucharistic Adoration with the Blessed Sacrament can be a simple, and sometimes new way to embrace Christ through prayer. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The term “Eucharist” originates from the Greek word eucharistia, meaning thanksgiving.

In the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instrumentality of the priest. The whole Christ is truly present — body, blood, soul, and divinity — under the appearances of bread and wine, the glorified Christ who rose from the dead. This is what the Church means when she speaks of the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist.

The importance of Eucharistic Adoration is shown in the fact that the Church has a ritual that regulates it: the Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction.

This is an extension of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which occurs in every Mass: “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament flows from the sacrifice of the Mass and serves to deepen our hunger for Communion with Christ and the rest of the Church. The Rite concludes with the ordained minister blessing the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament.

Some important prayers that are used during this rite include the Anima Christi and the Tantum Ergo. Holy hours are the Roman Catholic devotional tradition of spending an hour in Eucharistic Adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, according to the U.S. bishops’ conference.

The bishops have created a variety of holy hours that focus our prayer to Jesus Christ on peace, life, vocations and other topics that are at the heart of the life of the Church and the world.

What is a holy hour?

(OSV) — While a holy hour can be spent in a nearly limitless number of ways, here is a simple guide on one way to spend a holy hour.
To pray a holy hour of Adoration of the Eucharist, all you need is a tabernacle with a lit sanctuary lamp, a Bible, a spiritual imagination, and perhaps a Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church or a book of prayers. Many churches and chapels have books available for use during prayer.

Three recommendations

1. Be silent. Don’t rattle prayers or silently review stresses. Be still exteriorly and interiorly.
2. Be attentive. It’s not simply a reading hour — reading should be an entry point to prayer.
3. Be alert. Sit, stand or kneel respectfully. Quick tip: If you get sleepy, try standing up!

A minute-by-minute guide
There is no one way to pray a holy hour. The following might help if you get lost in the hour, but feel free to reconfigure it to suit your needs.

• 0:00 - 0:05 – Begin
First 5 Minutes: Ask the Holy Spirit to help you, then make acts of faith, hope and charity. Tell God how you believe, trust and love Him. Ask for more faith, hope and love.
Quick tip: There are great prayers to the Holy Spirit and Acts of Faith, Hope and Love in the Compendium.

• 0:05 - 0:15 – Adoration
Next 10 Minutes: Adore God. He holds the universe like a seed in the palm of His hand. He is all powerful, all good, more beautiful than we can imagine, and more real than the small things that we grasp so easily. Imagine Christ sitting with you.
Tell Him: “Oh my God, I adore your divine greatness from the depths of my littleness; you are so great, and I am so small.” or “Glory be …” Repeat as long as necessary.
Quick tip: Try the Te Deum in the Compendium. Scriptural helps for adoration — Ex 33:18-23; Songs 2:8-17; Mt 2:1-11; Jn 1:1-18; Col 1:15-20; Phil 2:6-11.

• 0:15 - 0:25 – Contrition
Next 10 Minutes: Offer reparation. It’s not your love for God, but His for you that saves. Examine your conscience. Offer reparation for the sins of the world. Pray: “Oh my Jesus, I am so sorry. Forgive me.” (Imagine Jesus on the cross; kiss each wound.)
Quick tip: Scriptures for contrition—1 Cor 13:4-7; Col 3:5-10; 1 Tim 1:12-17.

• 0:25 - 0:40 – Meditation
Next 15 Minutes: Contemplate God’s action. You may wish to meditatively pray the Stations of the Cross or a Rosary. Or consider these...
Scriptural meditation: Read a brief Gospel passage. Imagine the scene. Notice Christ’s reactions. Think of three ways the passage applies to your own life. Meditate on each line.
Doctrinal meditation: Read Scripture or Catechism passages that apply to a doctrine of the Church. Appreciate God’s plan and find ways it applies to you. (Perhaps: Sunday, Resurrection; Monday, Incarnation; Tuesday, Mercy/con­fession; Wednesday, Holy Spirit; Thursday, Eucharist; Friday, Passion; Saturday, Mary).
Life meditation: Or, deepening your examination of conscience, look at your own life. Which kind of pride do you most fall into? Selfishness (valuing yourself most), Vanity (valuing others opinions most), Sensuality (valuing comforts most). Pray for the opposite virtues: Charity (serving others first), Fidelity (putting Christ’s opinion first), Discipline (accepting your crosses).

•0:40 - 0:50 – Thanksgiving
Next 10 Minutes: Express gratitude for all God’s gifts. He didn’t just create you, He sustains your existence out of love in every moment.
Thank Him for literally everything, and be specific: food, shelter, clothing, health, family, friends, teachers, coworkers, home, and most of all spiritual gifts — faith, hope, love, this time of prayer, the Catholic faith, the disciples who reached you. Thank God for answers to prayer. Thank Him for the crosses. Thank Him for creating you and caring so much for you that He died for you.
Quick tip: Scriptures for thanksgiving – Gen 1; Gen 8:15-22; Job 1:13-22.

•0:50 - 0:55 – Petition God
Next 5 Minutes: Ask God for what you and others need. He is the king of the universe. He’s in control, even when it isn’t obvious.
Pray for: The Church, the pope’s intentions, for those who are suffering, for priests and bishops, for religious, for vocations, for the country, your family, for what you need most in the spiritual life. Pray for peace, for the family and for those who have asked for prayers.

• 0:55 - 1:00 – The future
Final 5 Minutes: Make a resolution to act on a light of the Holy Spirit you received: something doable and checkable. Ask the Blessed Mother to help you, perhaps with Marian prayers.

These are just a few of the ways to spend a holy hour with the Blessed Sacrament. Don’t forget that Eucharistic exposition and benediction are part of the Church’s official Liturgy. Contact your parish office to find out Adoration times at your church, and consider making time for Adoration in the New Year. Some chapels are open as the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31.

For more resources and prayers on Eucharistic Adoration, visit www.archgh.org/revival. †