Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’m struggling with how to use your precept, “Do what the rubric says; don’t do what it doesn’t say” as a guide for leading Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction, especially as the liturgy concludes. I don’t want to cause useless trouble. 

If I applied “Reposition” as written in Rubric # 100, I would bless the people with the monstrance and conclude the liturgy immediately afterwards. I would not return to the front of the altar and lead the people in further devotions.

Rubric #100 also suggests that the people could say an acclamation while they are being blessed with the monstrance.  Do you have a suggestion?

Some hymnals include a worship aid that rewords Rubric #100 and adds the “Divine Praises” and “Holy God We Praise Thy Name” after the blessing. Has the original version of Rubric #100 been superseded? 

Omitting these additional devotions or using them during the period of adoration (in accord with rubric # 95) would require some catechesis.  Do you have some suggestions?  

Is there really anything to be gained by “doing what the rubric says, not what it doesn’t say” in this case?  Or would it be better to say that using these additional devotions to conclude Exposition and Benediction is so common that it would be wise to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?


A: Thanks for these thoughtful and practical questions.

At this very moment, the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship is in dialogue with the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments over the final changes to the new English translation of Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Outside Mass. We should get a clarification in the coming months.

Meanwhile, here’s what I do: I do not include the dialogue “You have given them bread from heaven” (though the bishops are asking for it.)

I have a reader or cantor lead the divine praises as the acclamation that coincides with reposition. We do not sing “Holy God.”

Some participation aids have added devotional items that have never been part of the liturgy, but are part of tradition. The bishops are aware of this, and they are trying to remedy the situation. Stay tuned.