B16 & Eucharist 2009.jpgPeriodically people ask about the practice of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I typically find the questions interesting because it seems like we have forgotten the reasons why we adore the eucharistic Presence of Jesus Christ and this experience of eucharistic adoration is key for every Catholic and for every parish, school, hospital, convent, abbey, etc. 

When questions arise about the character of Adoration
of the Blessed Sacrament we should go to the liturgical book called Holy
Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass
. While it does not provide
details about what ought or ought not be done at Adoration, it does provide a
liturgical theology by which we follow. There it says that 

Exposition of
the Holy Eucharist is intended to acknowledge Christ’s marvelous presence in
the sacrament. Exposition invites us to the spiritual union with him that
culminates in sacramental communion. Thus it fosters very well the worship
which is due to Christ in spirit and in truth. This kind of exposition
must clearly express the cult of the blessed sacrament in its relationship to
the Mass.  The plan of the exposition should carefully avoid anything
which might somehow obscure the principal desire of Christ in instituting the
Eucharist, namely, to be with us as food, medicine, and comfort” (n.82).

we can reason that devotions, songs, prayers, etc., ought to be consistent
with what is given in this book. 

The Directory on Popular Piety and the
Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines
 does offer examples of what is
consistent with the purposes of Eucharistic adoration. It says: 

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.
 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 (n.165).

This list of practices is not exhaustive, and it is not meant to be but it does give a useful sense of how to
evaluate our devotional practices during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.