Adoration is defined as “the act of paying honor, as to a divine being; worship,” “reverent homage,” and “fervent and devoted love,” according to dictionary.com. All of these definitions are applicable to adoration as defined by catholic-church.org; “…Eucharistic Adoration is adoring or honouring the Eucharistic Presence of Christ.” Adoration, in brief, is the acknowledgment of God as our Creator and us as His creation.
In adoration, Jesus is exposed in the monstrance. Often times, it is preceded by exposition and followed by benediction. Many churches have perpetual adoration, which is Eucharistic Adoration all day every day in a side chapel. A holy hour is when the Eucharist is exposed in the monstrance for approximately an hour.
Since God is present in the Eucharist, there is an amazing opportunity to encounter our Creator in adoration. Speaking from personal experience, if you open yourself up during adoration, you leave feeling much more secure in your faith. Humbling yourself in front of God will leave you with peace and joy. Even though at times it may be hard to focus or it feels like nothing is happening, God is there and He is so pleased that you gave Him your time. Sitting in the presence of God in adoration gives you comfort and graces to help you. A plenary indulgence can be granted for adoring the Blessed Sacrament for at least a half hour, as long as you go to confession, receive communion, and pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the pope and his intentions [Editor’s Note: Just to clarify, for a plenary indulgence one of the requirements, in addition to the ones listed above, is to be free from the attachment of all sin]. Catholic.org also says that a partial indulgence may be granted to those who adore the Blessed Sacrament for less than a half hour or who adore without praying for the pope and going to confession and communion.
Often times, confession is offered during adoration. This is a perfect opportunity to recognize your humanity in front of Jesus, God-made-man who came to save you from sin. He desires to love you and be with you. God wants to be a part of every aspect of your life, and adoration allows you to encounter and know Him.
Prayer during adoration ranges greatly. Music is always a great form of worship and meditation. Silent adoration is a way to just be with the Lord and be surrounded by His love. It is also a good opportunity to pray a Rosary to our mother Mary, or any prayer that comes to your heart, whether it be spontaneous or recitation of a common prayer like the Our Father or a Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
If you are ever feeling lost or alone in your faith, stop by the church and sit in adoration for a while. Just sitting and adoring the Lord opens up many pathways that you did not realize were there. God wants to love you and help you through life. Opening yourself up to Him in adoration will not leave you fruitless.