Eucharistic adoration

Eric Michel Monstrance Pendant 


A monstrance, also known as an

ostensorium (or an ostensory) is the

the vessel used in Roman Catholic, Old

Catholic, High Church Lutheran and

Anglican churches, for the more

convenient exhibition of some object

of piety, such as the consecrated

Eucharistic host during Eucharistic

adoration or Benediction of the

Blessed Sacrament. It is also used as

reliquary for the public display of relics

of some saints. The word monstrance

comes from the Latin word monstrare,

while the word ostensorium came from

the Latin word ostendere. Both terms,

meaning "to show", are used for vessels

intended for the exposition of the Blessed

Sacrament, but ostensorium has only this


In the Catholic tradition, at the moment of consecration, the elements (called "gifts" for liturgical purposes) are transformed (literally transubstantiated)

into the body and blood of Christ. Catholic doctrine holds that the elements are not only spiritually transformed but are (substantially) transformed into

the body and blood of Christ. Although the elements retain the appearance, or "accidents," of bread and wine, they become the body and blood of Christ.

The presence of Jesus in Presence within the Roman Catholic tradition. Other Christians (notably in the Anglican Church,  Old Catholic Church, and

Lutheran Church) accept the doctrine of the Real Presence whilst rejecting transubstantiation as a philosophical concept (cf. sacramental union). Owing

to these beliefs, the consecrated elements are given the same adoration and devotion that Christians of these traditions accord to Christ himself.

Within churches of these traditions, the reserved sacrament is a focal point of religious devotion. In many of them, during Eucharistic adoration, the

celebrant displays the sacrament in the monstrance, typically on the altar. When not being displayed, the reserved sacrament is locked in a tabernacle (more

common in Roman Catholicism) or aumbry (more common in the other traditions mentioned)

Eucharistic adoration is a Eucharistic practice in the Roman Catholic, Anglo-Catholic and some Lutheran traditions, in which the Blessed Sacrament is adored by the faithful. This practice may occur when the Eucharist is exposed or not publicly viewable because it is reserved in a place such as a church tabernacle.

Adoration is a sign of devotion to and worship of Jesus Christ, which Catholics believe to be present in Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity under the appearance of the consecrated host, sacramental bread. From a theological perspective, the adoration is a form of latria based on the tenet of the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. Christian meditation performed in the presence of the Eucharist outside Mass is called Eucharistic meditation. Peter Julian Eymard, Jean Vianney and Thérèse of Lisieux have practiced it. Authors such as the Blessed Concepcion Cabrera de Armida and Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist have produced large volumes of text based on their Eucharistic meditations.

When the exposure and adoration of the Eucharist is constant (twenty-four hours a day), it is called perpetual adoration. In a monastery or convent, it is done by the resident monks or nuns and, in a parish, by volunteer parishioners since the 20th century. In a prayer opening the Perpetual chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope John Paul II prayed for a perpetual adoration chapel in every parish. Pope Benedict XVI instituted perpetual adoration for the laity in each of the five sectors of the Diocese of Rome.