Prayer to the Christ in the Eucharist
As Catholics it is our privilege to participate in offering the Eucharist Sacrifice and in receiving Holy Communion. But there are many additional acts of devotion which helps to expand Christâ€™s real presence among us. Such devotion is Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Christâ€™s promise is to be with us always (Mt 28:20): The practice of reservation of the Blessed Sacrament arose early in the history of the Church. (This was for the convenience of the sick â€“ that communion might be taken to them.) People then began spontaneously to gather in the Churches to pray and worship in the very presence of Christ. Later because Christâ€™s presence meant so much to them, they asked that the Host be exhibited to them on throne in a monstrance (an ornamental receptacle).Still later, Prayers and songs were added , and the priest would bless the people with the Host enthroned in the monstrance.
Benediction is an amazingly simple and beautiful proportioned act of worship. We begin by contemplating Godâ€™s presence in our midst. (Most of the time e are so busy talking or doing things or going places that Christ hardly gets a chance to say anything to us. Contemplating means that we let God â€œsoak into us.â€) Than follows the actual Sacrament blessing: The priest makes the sign of the cross over us with the Host enshrined in the monstrance. Finally, we make our spontaneous response in words of praise and thanksgiving.
While the Congregation sings an opening song (any Eucharist hymn), the celebrant removes the Host from the tabernacle, places it in a monstrance, and enthrones it on the altar. After he incenses the Host (a symbolic action indicating our prayerful worship) a period of silent contemplation or public prayer ensues. Then, after the homily (if there is one), a hymn is sung, such as:
Down in adoration falling
This great Sacrament we hail;
Ancient types have long departed,
Newer rites of grace prevail.
Faith for all defects supplying
Where the feeble senses fail.
Glory let us give and blessing
To the Father and the Son,
Honor, might and praise addressing
While eternal ages run;
Equal praise to Him Confessing
Who proceeds from both as One.
You have given them bread from
Having itself all delight
Let us pray
O God, in his wonderful Sacrament you have has left us a memorial of Your Passion.
We ask you to enable us so to worship the scared mysteries of Your Body and Blood that we may constantly feel in our lives the effects of Your Redemption: You who live and reign for ever and ever.
The celebrant blesses the people with the Host and then returns the Eucharist to the tabernacle. Afterward the people themselves may say or sing and acclamation such as the Divine Praises:
â€¢ Blessed be God.
â€¢ Blessed be his Holy name.
â€¢ Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
â€¢ Blessed be the name of Jesus.
â€¢ Blessed be his most sacred heart.
â€¢ Blessed be his most Precious Blood.
â€¢ Blessed be Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
â€¢ Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
â€¢ Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
â€¢ Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
â€¢ Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
â€¢ Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
â€¢ Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
â€¢ Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints.