Mass Times

Weekdays
Monday thru Friday,
8:00am, 12:10pm (Chapel)
(12:10pm suspended in July & Aug.)

Saturday
9:00am (Chapel)
5:15pm (vigil)

Sunday
7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am, 12:00 noon

Holy Days
8:00am, 12:10pm,
7:30pm

Confessions
Saturday 4 to 5pm,
or by appointment

Served By

Rev. Msgr. Joseph G. Celano, V.E., Pastor
Rev. Mhonchan Ezung, Parochial Vicar
Rev. Andrew Smith, O.S.B., Weekend Assistant
Deacon Patrick J. Cline
Deacon Gerard Sims
Deacon Michael Wojcik
Deacon Paul Anderson (retired)
Mrs. Christina Blalock, Director of Sacred Music
Mrs. Karen Dill, Director, Office of Catechetical Formation
Mr. Sean O'Brien, Youth Ministry Leader
Mr. Mark LaFleur, Director of St. Bernard Cemetery and Mausoleums
Mrs. Barbara Turse, Director of St. Bernard Preschool and Kindergarten
Ms. Ginny Hayden, Parish Office Manager and Assistant to the Pastor
Mr. William Chmielewski, Director of Maintenance

Contact Us

St Bernard of Clairvaux Church
500 U.S. HWY. 22
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Phone: (908) 725-0552
Fax: (908) 725-4524
office@stbernardbridgewater.org

Eucharistic Adoration

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Understanding Eucharistic Adoration

Monstrance

 

What is the Eucharist and what is Eucharistic Adoration?

Why do we do 40 Hours Devotion of the Eucharist?

What should I do during Eucharistic adoration?

How does Eucharistic Adoration relate to my life?

What do the Saints have to say about Adoration and the Eucharist?

Why should I spend time in Eucharistic Adoration?

 


What is the Eucharist and what is Eucharistic Adoration?

The Eucharist is Christ himself.  During the Mass, the bread is consecrated and becomes the Body of Christ (transubstantiation). Even though we cannot see, touch or taste the difference, and the form of the bread remains the same, the substance is changed. While Jesus Christ is present to us in many ways (i.e., in his word, in prayer, in the poor, in the sacraments), He is present most especially in the Eucharist. Christ’s presence in the Eucharist is unique and raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments. That is why the Eucharist is often called the most Blessed Sacrament. The body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the whole Christ, is truly, really and substantially contained in the Eucharist.

Eucharistic Adoration is prayer: adoring and honoring the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus Christ. In his Eucharistic presence, Christ remains mysteriously in our midst as the one who loved us and gave himself up for us. At Adoration, Jesus comes to meet us in a unique way, face-to-face. It is an encounter with Christ.

In the words of Pope John Paul II (Dominicae cenae #3) “The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet Him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease.”


Why do we do 40 Hours Devotion of the Eucharist?

The Forty Hours Devotion is a special forty-hour period of continuous prayer made before the Blessed Sacrament in solemn exposition. The Eucharist is displayed in a special holder called a monstrance, and people come to pray and worship Jesus continually throughout the day.

The practice of Forty Hours Devotion originated in Milan about the year 1530. In our country, St. John Neumann (1811-1860), the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, was a strong promoter of the Forty Hours Devotion. The number 40 has always signified a sacred period of time: the rains during the great flood of Noah, the years the Israelites spent wandering in the desert, the days Jesus fasted in the desert, and also recalls the 40 hours Jesus spent in the grave until his resurrection.

The Forty Hours Devotion provides a wonderful opportunity for the spiritual growth of each person and the parish as a whole. In a world where temptation and evil abound, where devotion to the Mass and our Lord in the Holy Eucharist have declined, where the practice of penance and confession have been forgotten, we need the Forty Hours Devotion more than ever.

Vatican Council II upheld and encouraged the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass, teaching that the Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, #11) Pope Pius XII taught in Mediator Dei, “This practice of adoration has a valid and firm foundation.” Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have repeatedly “highly recommended” public and private devotion of the Blessed Sacrament.


What should I do during Eucharistic adoration?

The most important thing to do is simply to come. If you are uncertain what to do or how to begin, just come. Christ is waiting to shower you with mercy and grace. You just have to show up to receive it. After entering the church, bless yourself with holy water; genuflect and kneel in a pew. Then quietly wait and allow the Lord to love you and minister to your needs. Feel free to sit at any time. You can talk with Him, tell Him you love Him and thank Him. You can ask Jesus for help, or share your worries and your joys. You can read the Bible, pray a rosary, or do whatever type of prayerful devotion that suits you before Our Lord. You can contemplate acts of hope, charity, and thanksgiving. You can just sit and say nothing, simply keeping him company. Spending time with Jesus should not be any different, fundamentally, then spending time with a very close friend. Don’t let worries over how to pray stop you from coming, just being there will have an effect on you.

“The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth.” – Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta


How does Eucharistic Adoration relate to my life?

Whether it is your job, homework, service work, athletics, faith, or a relationship, everything you do can be rooted in Christ through spending time with him in Eucharistic Adoration. Pope John Paul II wrote “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life.” Eucharistic Adoration nourishes us, inspires us, and gives us the strength and grace to make Christ relevant, whether at our job, in our schoolwork, our leisure time, our relationships or our service to those who are in need. By spending time with Jesus in Adoration, we are made more mindful of Him and His presence with us through our day.

“We have ups and downs and sickness and suffering. That is part of the cross. Anyone who imitates Him to the full must share in His passion also. That is why we need prayer, that is why we need the Bread of Life, that is why we have Adoration” – Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta

“I will not allow myself to be so absorbed in the whirlwind of work as to forget about God. I will spend all my free moments at the feet of the Master hidden in the Blessed Sacrament.” -St. Faustina Kowlaska


What do the Saints have to say about Adoration and the Eucharist?

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has been the fervent devotion of the Saints. Their adoration lasted hours, sometimes whole days or nights, always keeping intimate company with Jesus. Absorbed in contemplating Him, they surrendered their hearts in a pure offering of adoring love. Here is what some Saints have written about their experiences of encountering Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration.

“The Eucharist is that love which surpasses all loves in Heaven and on earth,” – St. Bernard

“The devotion to the Eucharist is the most noble because it has God as its object; it is the most profitable for salvation, because It gives us the Author of Grace; it is the sweetest, because the Lord is Sweetness Itself,” – St. Pius X

“If we really loved the good God, we should make it our joy and happiness to come and spend a few moments to adore Him, and ask Him for the grace of forgiveness; and we should regard those moments as the happiest of our lives.” – St. John Vianney (on Adoration of Jesus in the Most the Blessed Sacrament)

“Know also that you will probably gain more by praying fifteen minutes before the Blessed Sacrament than by all the other spiritual exercises of the day. True, Our Lord hears our prayers anywhere, for He has made the promise, ‘Ask, and you shall receive,’ but He has revealed to His servants that those who visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament will obtain a more abundant measure of grace.”– St. Alphonsus Liguori

“People ask me: ‘What will convert America and save the world?’ My answer is prayer. What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Hours of prayer.” – Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Why should I spend time in Eucharistic Adoration?

There are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. How do you spend that time? How much of that time is spent doing something holy? To spend an hour in Eucharistic Adoration is truly a Holy Hour. When Jesus left this earth, he did not leave us alone. He remains with us in the Eucharist. He is waiting to meet with you.

“If we only knew the value of a holy hour we would never miss a single day without making one… Because the Cross is infinite in merit, there is no limit to the value of a holy hour.” – St. Francis Assisi

“You may be sure that of all the moments of your life, the time you spend before the divine Sacrament will be that which will give you more strength during life and more consolation at the hour of your death and during eternity,” – St. Alphonsus

“The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer. Our world is one of speed in which intensity of movement is a substitute for lack of purpose; where noise is invoked to drown out the whisperings of conscience; where talk, talk, talk gives the impression that we are doing something when really we are not; where activity kills self-knowledge won by contemplation…There seems to be so little in common between our involvement with the news of the world and the Stranger in whose Presence we find ourselves (in Eucharistic Adoration). The hour means giving up a golf game or a cocktail party, or a nap… We are not called to great penances, and many would interfere with our duty, but the hour is our daily sacrifice in union with Christ.”– Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen