Adoration for catechumens

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  We are planning a Diocesan retreat that we will be offering to catechumens, candidates and members of the various RCIA teams during Lent.   We had originally planned to have a time during our retreat for Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. But after reflection I thought possibly it was a bit premature to have this service at this point in the formation of the elect because they will  have not participated at this point in the Eucharistic prayer. In researching this I found this point also made by Thomas Morris in his book “The RCIA – Transforming the Church”. On page 190 he says when speaking about Holy Thursday – the question is posed – “Do we invite them to participate in the prayer before the reserved sacrament of the Eucharist?” He goes on to say – “introducing the elect to adoration of the eucharist before their participation in the Eucharistic prayer can lead to great distortions and misunderstandings about the eucharist. There will be ample opportunities in their life to participate in such gatherings in the future”.  What is your understanding of this question?

A:  I think the answer is a tossup. I see Thom Morris’s point. At the same time, I don’t think a single experience of adoration before communion stands a danger of distortion.

The RCIA certainly never envisions eucharistic adoration for catechumens or the elect. It is focused much more on liturgies of the word to nurture their formation. Blessings, exorcisms, anointings – that’s the meat of the period of purification and enlightenment.
For baptized candidates, depending on who they are and what they are experiencing in their faith right now, eucharistic adoration might enhance their anticipation of communion.
In short, eucharistic adoration probably would not hurt. It might help. You could do it. But it’s not the main way that the RCIA envisions the period of purification and enlightenment.