Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Candles for Eucharistic Adoration using the monstrance
Candles for Eucharistic Adoration using the monstrance QUESTION from Deacon Larry on April 7, 2002 Dear Mr. Slavek...
A simple question, but I am getting a complex answer from our parish liturgist.
At Eucharistic adoration using the monstrance #85 in the HCWEOM it states that four to six candles are lighted as at Mass. I use four and our liturgist asked, Why four? It should be two. When I referenced #85 she replied that #85 must be read in light of #7 in the Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist (OSEHE) and that the phrase in #85 as at Mass means that since in our parish we only use two candles at Mass (six on Christmas and Easter) then for adoration we would use two or six but never four.
I don't have a degree in liturgy and so am wondering if this is really stretching for justifying two or six candles? Or, is this a correct interpretation as she said, as I have been instructed.
I also wonder why in the OSEHE the words Holy Eucharist and Blessed Sacrament aren't capitalized - but you don't have to answer that one.
I hope I haven't made this too confusing but when we have adoration I get asked by the people in the pew and I like to have authoritative answers.
Thanks and continued blessings on your work,
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on April 9, 2002 Dear Rev. Mr. Lottier,
You are correct to use four (or six) candles at Eucharistic Adoration when using a monstrance. Explain to your liturgist that the phrase as at Mass obviously doesn't modify the number of candles since the number of candles to be used is explicit in both the Roman Missal for Mass and Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass. The number differs. So what is it meant to modify? It explains the MANNER in which they are to be lighted, which otherwise would not exist in HCWEOM. It is to be taken from the Missal, then, that the candles are to be placed either on or around the altar in a way suited to the design of the altar and sanctuary. Everything is to be well balanced and must not interfere with the faithful's clear view of the altar.
I am not certain of this, but I believe that the Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist is not necessarily authoritative but rather a guide published by the NCCB to aid in preparation of solemn adoration. I do not own a copy myself, so please correct me if I am wrong. Anyway, it is not binding on the universal church.
The question of why Blessed Sacrament is not capitalized is very simple to answer: It is because the texts were poorly edited. In the written English language, proper nouns are capitalized, whether it is the name of my friend John or the name of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I have noticed a general trend of sloppiness with this all over in our language. It really is bad that we see it with the name of the Lord, which in my opinion should be the LAST place to drop this honor, if it must be dropped at all.
Spanish does NOT capitalize proper nouns, so maybe the other Romance Languages do not, influencing English. Modern Latin however does.
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