Q: I’ve been working on the local roll-out of USCCB’s “Eucharistic Revival” and have dome some research on various questions that continue to arise. I was grateful for your response to the question about whether or not the Rite of Penance could be celebrated during Adoration and appreciate your clarification. I was also able to confirm the prohibition of doing the Stations of the Cross during Adoration (via the posting on the USCCB website). However, what about administering the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick during a Holy Hour and/or period of Adoration?
I thank you in advance for your kind response to my inquiry!
A: I don’t know anything official about this, but anointing during adoration would put a liturgy inside a liturgy, and we have no formula for that. Combined liturgies are quite rare. We have ordinations of deacons and of priests, and we have the combined rites for catechumens and candidates in the RCIA, but otherwise the liturgical books abhor combinations, such as confirmations during weddings. Many sacraments and blessings may be done within Mass, but when they are outside of Mass, they have their own liturgical integrity; they are not combined with Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, which has ITS own liturgical integrity. Its purpose is “to direct the attention of the faithful to the worship of Christ the Lord” (HCWEOM 95). A service of anointing would interrupt and distract from this purpose.
I’d emend my response about confessions during adoration to remind people that confession is also a liturgical ritual with its own structure. Its ideal celebration is not in conjunction with something else.
In short, eucharistic adoration deserves full attention.