Exposition/Adoration – Updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Regarding your answer  https://paulturner.org/exposition-adoration/(see below) that was my reading, as well, of HCWEOM—that the incensation at the end was part of Benediction, and so the lay minister wouldn’t do it, but that they should at the beginning of Exposition; but when I checked the ritual book, Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist, the laity are also forbidden to incense the Blessed Sacrament at the opening of Exposition, even outside the context of Exposition that takes place at the beginning or end of Mass—so the rite acknowledges that the minister may be a lay person and then goes on to say that in such cases, the incensation at the beginning of the service is omitted, as well as the Benediction (#37, #55, etc.). So my confusion arose from the apparent contradiction in the two documents. Does one trump the other? Or do I assume incensation by a lay minister at Exposition is just disallowed, period? Thank you for your help and kind patience!


A: Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist is a compilation and expansion of rituals found in other books for ease of use. It therefore does not correspond exactly to a typical edition in Latin. It conflates them. For a proper interpretation, I rely on the ritual books, in this case, Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass

In my view, the former book is a fine tool, but the latter book is the official text. I stand by my opinion that incense is appropriate at the beginning when a lay presides.


Q: I can’t find in the documents a situation whereby a lay minister presiding at Exposition/Adoration incenses the Blessed Sacrament; Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist explicitly forbids it, and yet many of our laity here include incensation (both at the beginning and again before reposition) when they lead. Is there something I’m missing? I’m not planning to go from parish to parish to put a stop to the practice, but when I send official documents and norms from the office I want to be sure I’m not leaving out something they may lawfully include. As usual, with gratitude.


A: Here’s an earlier post.