This past Thursday at St. Stephen’s, the Young Adults Group enjoyed – is that the right word? – a holy hour with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament courtesy of Father Siranni. I had promised two very good friends of mine that I would pray a rosary for each of them and their intentions during the Holy Hour. that evening I did so, to myself of course, not aloud, and additionally took time to pray in a supplicating way, as well as to sit quietly and just to listen. This last is something that is taking some getting used to, but I am trying – admittedly I do tend to fidget a bit.
Imagine my slight discomfort today on the Catholic Answers website when I read the following question by a poster. Father Serpa’s response allayed my concern that I had acted incorrectly. However, I decided to do some further reading as to why the poster would think this, and came across the following on the Adoremus site:
From the Second Vatican Council until the present, the following have been observed:
In the first two decades after the Council, more or less, there arose within the Catholic Church a tendency to suppress adoration before the exposed Blessed Sacrament within the Christian community.
In recent years, prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament has been increasingly appreciated once more. Two phenomena have been observed with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, namely: adoration takes place according to the same style and mentality and with the same prayers as before the Council, or it is celebrated in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Church’s documents.
Pastorally, this is an important time to encourage the prayer of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament according to the spirit of the Church documents. An opportunity to reorient this popular practice should not be wasted.
The restoration of the rosary should be promoted in its authentic form, that is, with its Christological character. At times, the traditional manner of reciting the rosary would seem to be limited to a recitation of the Our Father and the Hail Mary. Currently in some places the stating of the mysteries is accompanied by a reading of a brief biblical text to assist in meditation. This is very positive. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Cf. 2708) indicated that Christian prayer ought to go further. It should lead to a knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him, finding great encouragement and support in liturgical prayer before the Eucharist.
One should not expose the Eucharist only to recite the rosary. However, among the prayers that are used during adoration, the recitation of the rosary may certainly be included, emphasizing the Christological aspects with biblical readings relating to the mysteries, and providing time for silent adoration and meditation on them.
Admittedly I was not aware of this controversy or change, in part because it never seemed to be much of an issue for me. If I am in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, exposed on the altar, and meditating on Christ’s passion and death through the assistance of the Holy Rosary, and asking His guidance and aid on behalf of others, I did not really think I was causing any sort of problem. Perhaps others may disagree, however, and I am certainly willing to be educated on this point.