Sunday, November 21, 2010

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a devotional ceremony celebrated within the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.  Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament begins with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (i.e., consecrated Host) in a monstrance set upon the altar. The liturgy includes singing the ancient Latin hymns written by St Thomas Aquinas, O Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo, followed by the benediction proper. The celebrant holds the monstrance wearing a humeral veil covering his shoulders, arms and hands, and then blesses the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament by tracing the sign of the cross with the monstrance held steadily upright before him. The liturgy concludes with the Divine Praises and Psalm 117 (LXX 116) "Laudate Dominum" with the antiphon, "Let us forever adore the Most Holy Sacrament."

The Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a solemn service, and as such the priest vests in cope and stole. Altar servers will vest in cassock and Surplice.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

The priest or deacon takes the consecrated host out of the tabernacle and places it in the monstrance (which has already been placed on the altar) while the faithful sing O Salutaris Hostia. The faithful kneel at the moment of exposition.

Opening Prayer

When there is an extended adoration over the course of the day or days, an opening prayer suitable for the occasion collecting and offering the praise and the prayers of the faithful may be offered by the priest or deacon.

Adoration

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is almost always done in silence. Where readings, songs, psalms, devotional prayers (such as the rosary, litany or a novena prayer) or a homily are incorporated, there are still usually lengthy periods of sacred silence for the faithful to be present to Christ in the Eucharist without distraction. Solemn Vespers or Evensong is often sung in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

Censing

Bringing adoration to a close and in preparation for the benediction while all kneel, the priest or deacon censes the exposed host while the faithful sing the Tantum Ergo. This is followed by a versicle and response:
V/ Panem de Caelo praestitisti eis.
R/ Omne delectamentum in se habentem.

or
V/ Thou gavest [or You gave] them bread from heaven.
R/ Containing within itself all sweetness.

Benediction

After the incensing the priest prays the Collect of Corpus Christi, then stands and dons the humeral veil, ascends to the altar and lifting the monstrance above his head traces a large cross.

Divine Praises

Often Divine Praises are said, although this is not a prescribed part of the rite. After the benediction the priest removes the humeral veil and, while kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, leads the faithful in the recitation or chanting of th
e Divine Praises.

Psalm

Psalm 117 is sung with the antiphon "Let us adore forever the most holy sacrament" while the priest returns the Blessed Sacrament to the tabernacle.






1 comment:

Kim said...

This says that Psalm 117 is sung at the end of Benediction, so I looked it up and it is beautiful and true! "Glorify the Lord, all you nations; praise Him, all you peoples. For His kindness toward us is constant, and the faithfulness of the Lord will endure forever. Alleluia.