What is the purpose of Adoration?
Adoration is simply to show our love for Jesus, to Adore Him in the Eucharist – and allow Him to love us.
WHEN and WHERE is the Family Adoration Hour at St. Monica?
The Family Adoration Hour at St. Monica is every Thursday evening from 6:00-7:00 pm in the PMC building. Adoration begins in the Church after the 5:30 pm Mass (about 6:00 pm) with a procession from Church to the PMC where Adoration will continue from 6:00-9:00 pm. The Family Hour is 6:00-7:00 pm. Benediction is at 9:00 pm.
Thursday is a traditional day for Eucharistic Adoration, because the gift of the Eucharist was given on Holy Thursday.
HOW is Family Adoration different?
The purpose of a Family Adoration Hour is to welcome whole families and to help children learn to adore Christ present in the Eucharist. Children, as well as all present, are led through the Adoration by a priest, deacon, or lay persons: woven into the silence of Adoration will be short expressions of adoration said aloud, suggestions for praying silently to Jesus, short Scripture phrases or passages, sometimes a short reflection on a Scripture, or songs leading to silence. See this online video regarding the importance of helping children/youth adore Jesus in the Eucharist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6uZwD30aXI&nohtml5=False
What can I expect will happen at Adoration?
This video online shows clips from Children’s Adoration; it may give you an idea of what to expect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHGF2qPvhn4 There is nothing one must know ahead of time. Simply come and be led through the loving Adoration of Jesus.
Do I have to stay the entire time?
No. You are welcome to come and go at Adoration at any time. You are always welcome to stop by Church to say a prayer before Jesus with your children, even if it is not during an Adoration time.
What specific things should children know?
They should know that Jesus is present in the monstrance and that they can love Him by spending time with Him.
How do I prepare my child for adoration?
Explain what is going to happen: that is, explain that we are going to spend time with Jesus to show our love. Practice quiet and stillness at home in prayer times. Talk about REVERENCE and practice showing reverence – in handling objects, movements, postures, stillness. Learn and practice “mindfulness” in your own adult prayer and let that guide your prayer with your children; it will “rub off” on them.
Is there an age limit? Do my children have to have received first communion?No. Jesus would enjoy if even the smallest infant were to come to Adoration.
How will I keep my child quiet?
Hold them. Practice at home. Your children may not be quiet; they may not sit still – this is okay. Adjust your expectations and be patient. Bringing toys defeats the purpose of Adoration, but a rosary might help busy hands.
What if my child can’t be quieted?
If they are truly disruptive, take your children outside for a minute and regroup. Whisper to them—don’t ignore because behavior may escalate to get your attention.
How can I help my children learn to be still? What can we do at home to practice?
Use sand timers or egg timers to give short amounts of time to practice silence, stillness. Start with short amounts of time and gradually build up stamina for more. Use a candle and watch it flicker. Use a bell and listen to it resonate. Practice praying with this stillness – help create a sense of awe/mystery. Use quiet voices.
What is the correct posture?
Genuflection is appropriate when entering and leaving Adoration – or a deep bow for those who cannot genuflect. During Adoration many postures are appropriate – kneeling, prostration, sitting.
Do you have to be Catholic?
No, the beauty of Adoration is that anyone can come and Adore – you are asked simply to come with an open heart to love God.
How are we supposed to feel? What if we don’t feel God’s presence?
You won’t always feel something special. That is okay. St. John Vianney said that he wanted to spend time in adoration like a dog at the feet of its master. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, while her sister Martha worried about the serving: Jesus said that the “better part” was sitting at his feet. The feelings that come to you are most likely what God wants you to feel – you don’t have to exert yourself to feel a certain way – just be as present to God as you can, loving God.
Do children really like it? Do they understand it?
“After his first Holy Hour with Jesus, a young boy was asked by his mother if he was ready to leave. To her surprise he answered: ‘Can we stay a little longer, Mommy? I am not through talking to Jesus.’ “ -From Children of Hope on YouTube,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHGF2qPvhn4
What should I do if we don’t like the silence?
Practice! Silence, stillness and mindfulness, is a crucial habit for the spiritual life. Practice at home, in your car, etc. Use a simple word like: “Jesus” or “Mary”, or “Jesus, I love you” to recollect your thoughts. Then, rest in silence.
How do I take care of my child and still get my own quiet time?
You may have to change your expectations. You will have many opportunities to Adore, if some of the Adoration times do not go the way you feel they should, accept this and know you will have many more chances – and that Jesus was glad you came. It is as important to introduce your child to love for God as it is to have that love yourself – the two go together for parents. Think about “listening to God together” – knowing that your togetherness in love for God may be as important as your own quiet time – and keep working to find your own time adoring God, trusting that God will help you find this time.
What if my children enjoy it, but I don’t enjoy it or understand it?
This is a good question for you to answer for yourself!
How do I know/believe that Jesus is really present?
It is a matter of assent – wanting to believe. Pray an act of faith asking God to increase your faith.
Will a priest be present?
Priests will often lead the Adoration, but not all the time. Sometimes lay persons or deacons will lead the Adoration.
What can I bring ? Snacks for kids? Electronic devices?
No snacks except for nursing babies who may need milk. Electronic devices may be acceptable sometimes for rosary, reading scripture, etc, but the best use of this time is simply to spend the time loving God.