Expert Answer Forum

Adoration and Stations of the Cross QUESTION from Mark O'Malley March 1, 2000 Our parish is planning to have all-day adoration on Fridays during Lent - which I think is great. However, they are proposing that at the end of the day we have Stations of The Cross prior to Benediction. I'd like to understand whether this is OK? I've looked for documents on Eucharistic Adoration on the internet and the best I can do is find the Curial Document Eucharistae Sacramentum which in paragraph 89 states the following:
89. Shorter expositions of the eucharist are to be arranged in such a way that the blessing with the eucharist is preceded by a reasonable time for readings of the word of God, songs, prayers, and a period for silent prayer. Is Stations of the Cross OK? Would it fall under the definition of 'prayers'? Or would it distract attention away from the Blessed Sacrament?
Thank you for your help.
Mark O'Malley
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 5, 2000 Dear Mr. O'Malley:
The Church regulates who can say the Benediction (only clergy), who can bless the people with the Monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament (only clergy), and who can expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament (either clergy or deputed extraordianry ministers), and gives general guidelines about what happens during Adoration (which you have quoted).
Those quidelines are rather expansive. If contains about all that one might do during adoration: read the Bible, sing, corporate prayer, and private silent prayer and meditation.
The Stations of the Cross is a prayer and thus is perfectly acceptible.
In fact, in my opinion, ending the day with the Stations of the Cross just before the benediction is a nice touch. To meditate on the steps Jesus took to the Cross as the final meditation before benediction is a wonderful idea.
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