While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." - Matthew 26:26
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 - Pt. 19
THE WORSHIP OF THE EUCHARIST AS A PERMANENT SACRAMENT
I. The Reasons for Reserving the Eucharist and Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
49.The Reasons for Reserving the Eucharist outside Mass
"It would be well to recall that the primary and original purpose of reserving the sacred species in church outside Mass is the administration of the Viaticum. Secondary ends are the distribution of Communion outside Mass and the adoration of our Lord Jesus Christ concealed beneath these same species."108 For "the reservation of the sacred species for the sick . . . led to the praiseworthy custom of adoring the heavenly food which is preserved in churches. This practice of adoration has a valid and firm foundation,"109 especially since belief in the real presence of the Lord has as its natural consequence the external and public manifestation of that belief.
50.Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
When the faithful adore Christ present in the sacrament, they should remember that this presence derives from the sacrifice and is directed toward both sacramental and spiritual Communion.
In consequence, the devotion which leads the faithful to visit the Blessed Sacrament draws them into an ever deeper participation in the Paschal Mystery. It leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of Him who through His humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of His body.110 Dwelling with Christ our Lord, they enjoy His intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before Him for themselves and their dear ones, and pray for the peace and salvation of the world.
They offer their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, and receive in this wonderful exchange and increase of faith, hope and charity. Thus they nourish those right dispositions which enable them with all due devotion to celebrate the memorial of the Lord and receive frequently the bread given us by the Father.
The faithful should therefore strive to worship Christ our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, in harmony with their way of life. Pastors should exhort them to this, and set them a good example.
51.The Faithful Should Have Easy Access to Churches
Pastors should see to it that all churches and public oratories where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved remain open for at least several hours in the morning and evening so that it may be easy for the faithful to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.