Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

guide to the perplexed liturgist

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jul 27, 2006

Easing back into my normal work schedule after a short but welcome vacation (and thus a period of comparative silence, for which I apologize to my faithful readers), I spent some time cleaning up old files on my computer, and came across an agenda item that appeared in the May-July 1997 newsletter of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgy Commissions:

Limit discussion to perpetual adoration; dialogue with people who are advocates of various devotions; determine what is missing in our celebration of the Eucharist that leads people to want these devotions.
That was nearly a decade ago, and perhaps by now our hard-working diocesan liturgists have educed some explanation for the curious tendency of some Catholics to kneel for hours before the Blessed Sacrament-- when they could be using that time to learn the steps of the latest liturgical dances. But in case the explanation still eludes them, may we offer the following guide to perplexed liturgists?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church*, #1418:

Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1418

To visit the Blessed Sacrament is a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord.
Mysterium Fidei, Pope Paul VI, #66 (my emphasis)

Explanatory Notes:

- Catholic Church (founded circa AD 25): an association of believers in a single, transcendent and omnipotent supreme deity, who it claims was born as a man, slain, and lives on, continuing to speak to members through a human representative. Visit website at http:\\

- Adoration: an act of devotion in which awe, gratitude, fear and love are mingled, spontaneously offered by an inferior to a being regarded as ineffably superior.

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