Eucharist Adored

The Eucharist adored focuses on honoring the Real Presence of Christ outside of Mass.

Eucharistic adoration is an opportunity for faithful Catholics to pray and spend time with Jesus in his very presence in the Holy Eucharist. This may include spending time before the tabernacle in a church, before the consecrated host displayed in a monstrance, or joining in a eucharistic procession. 

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament flows from the sacrifice of the Mass, where receiving the Eucharist is, in itself, an act of adoration:  "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world."  

Why should I consider participating in eucharistic adoration?

Pope Francis, who regularly participates in adoration, has said that he believes eucharistic adoration is the secret to getting to know the Lord.

“One cannot know the Lord without being in the habit of adoring, of adoring in silence," he said. “The Christian life needs to be nourished by attentive listening to God’s word and, above all, by the cultivation of a personal relationship with the Lord in Eucharistic adoration, the privileged 'place' for our encounter with God.”

St. John Paul II also wrote of what he called its "inestimable value" for the life of the Church.

"Time given to Christ is never time lost but is, rather, time gained, so that our relationships and indeed our whole life may become more profoundly human," he said.

Those who participate in eucharistic adoration say the benefits are many. They say it has strengthened their relationship with the Lord and deepened their love for him, has helped them to grow in their appreciation for the gift of the Mass, has provided them a sense of peace and a respite from the worries of the world, and has given them the strength to face life's challenges.

Here are what some participants in eucharistic adoration in Lewiston recently shared:

  • "It is just a wonderful way to center my life on the Lord, and it seems like everything else in my life goes better." -  Connie Cabatingan.
  • “It’s a good meditation period in my life, just to sit back and think about my life and think about Jesus in my life. I’ve been blessed by it." - Gerry Wilson
  • "It changes people. It’s the graces that you receive while you’re there." - Doris Belanger

What do I do during eucharistic adoration?

Some people hesitate to participate in eucharistic adoration because they're not sure what to do when they're in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. It may be difficult to not worry about it, but you shouldn't. Just being there is a great start.

When you arrive for adoration, it is appropriate to genuflect or bow towards the Blessed Sacrament to show your respect. Then, find a pew or chair. Either kneeling or sitting is fine.

Once in adoration, here are some possibilities to consider:

  • Pray the Rosary or another devotion
  • Bring a a prayer book and use that as your guide (some churches and chapels have books available)
  • Read and meditate on Scripture
  • Reflect on your sins, sufferings, or needs and ask for Jesus' mercy and assistance
  • Ponder the gifts you've been given in your life and express your gratitude to Jesus for them.
  • Listen quietly on headphones to spiritual music or to a reflection
  • Just sit quietly and gaze at the Lord. Be open to hearing his voice

There is a story that St. John Vianney would often see a farmer sitting in the back of the church, spending time before the Eucharist. One day, the saint finally asked the farmer what he did during all that time. The farmer responded, "I look at him and he looks at me."

Where and when can I participate in eucharistic adoration?

Many parishes in the Diocese of Portland offer opportunities for eucharistic adoration, including regularly scheduled holy hours. You can find a list of adoration times throughout Maine by clicking here.

In addition, there are four chapels in the diocese that offer extended or perpetual adoration.  They include:

  • Adoration Chapel at St. John's Community Center, 43 Pleasant Street in Brunswick
  • Blessed Sacrament Chapel, 101 Silver Street in Waterville
  • Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, 27 Thornton Avenue in Saco
  • Rivier Adoration Chapel, Baird Avenue (adjoining Holy Cross Church) in Lewiston

During eucharistic adoration, two people, often called guardians or adorers, must be present at all times.

What is a Holy Hour?

Holy Hours are the devotional tradition of spending an hour in eucharistic adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. 

Holy Hours begin with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and often include readings from Sacred Scripture, a homily, prayers, and silent reflection, concluding with Benediction.

Holy Hours may be dedicated to praying for specific causes. For instance, Holy Hours may be held for healing, for life, for peace, or for priests and vocations. The U.S. bishops offer guides for a number of different Holy Hours, which can be found here.