An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Eucharistic Adoration

Adoration of God in prayer “is the lifting up of the heart and mind to God, asking nothing but to enjoy God's presence” (BCP, p. 857). Eucharistic adoration is devotional adoration of the real presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine of the eucharist. Private eucharistic adoration often involves prayer near the tabernacle or aumbry where the sacrament is reserved. Corporate acts of adoration include Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Article XXV of the Articles of Religion protested against eucharistic adoration, stating that “The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them” (BCP, p. 872). The BCP does not include forms for the services of Benediction or Exposition. But forms for these services are found in some devotional books such as Saint Augustine's Prayer Book. Eucharistic adoration is an important aspect of the prayer life of some members of the Episcopal Church, especially those with an Anglo-catholic piety. James DeKoven, the most widely known and respected leader of the Anglo-catholic movement in the nineteenth century, defended eucharistic adoration at the General Conventions of 1871 and 1874. He urged that “to adore Christ's person in His Sacrament, is the inalienable privilege of every Christian and Catholic heart.”

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.