The Cathedral Parish has a long tradition of parishioners coming together to adore our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Although the times and places for Exposition have changed over the years, this tradition of worship and prayer extends to this very day. Currently, Monday through Friday from the end of the 7 am Mass until Benediction at 3 pm, our parishioners and visitors have the ability to come and spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Cathedral Basilica. The Most Rev. Felipe J. Estévez, desired to bring the practice of Eucharistic Exposition to the Cathedral Basilica to help foster our church as a place of prayer, and this was accomplished after the renovations were completed in the spring of 2015.
The Church teaches that, “The solemn exposition of the Holy Eucharist offers the opportunity to the people of God for prayerful reflection on their call to a deeper devotion to the Holy Eucharist and a more faithful living of the Christian life.” (Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist, 4) Therefore, time spent in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament should be seen as a gift to be in spiritual communion with Jesus. Silent prayer, sacred reading, reflecting on God’s presence in our lives, and other devotions are typically prayed throughout the day. The church also desires that, “During the exposition there should be prayers, songs, and readings to direct the faith to the worship of Christ the Lord.” (Order, 15). That is why each hour of Exposition starts with a scripture reading and prayer by one of the leaders, and also why we pray the Angelus and Rosary each noon, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 2:45 in the afternoon on Friday.
Exposition in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel
These readings, prayers and devotions help to draw people deeper into contemplation about Jesus. The Church tells us, “Therefore, the devotion prompting the faithful to visit the Blessed Sacrament draws them into an ever deeper share in the Paschal Mystery and leads them to respond gratefully to the gift of him who through his humanity constantly pours divine life into the members of his Body. Abiding with Christ the Lord they enjoy his intimate friendship and pour out their hearts before him for themselves and for those dear to them and they pray for peace and salvation of the world. Offering their entire lives with Christ to the Father in the Holy Spirit, they derive … an increase of faith, hope and charity. Thus they foster these right dispositions that enable them with due devotion to celebrate the memorial of the Lord and receive frequently the bread given to us by the Father.” (Order, 5)
This prayer before Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist extends the prayer of the Mass. Indeed this is why the concluding prayer and blessings are omitted at the end of the 7 am Mass on weekdays with Exposition, as Exposition flows from the Mass into adoration of Our Lord. There is no better blessing then to be in the presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Each period of prayer also ends with Benediction at 3 pm. This is a Eucharistic Blessing with the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance, done by a priest or deacon. Our periods of solemn exposition always end with benediction.
All are welcome and encouraged to come spend some time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament when they can. If you would like to sign up to for a specific time to come pray at the Cathedral in the presence of the Lord, please contact our ministry coordinator, Susan Partel at 904.669.9351.