Q: In watching the Pope’s daily Mass, after Communion there is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for several minutes with Benediction and then Mass is concluded. This occurs daily.
Your thoughts on this, please?
A: Well, all I can say is, there’s no provision for it. But I am not one to declare what a pope can and cannot do, or what he should or should not do during a pandemic.
If adoration follows the prayer after communion, which it may, the priest puts on a humeral veil, takes a host that he consecrated at that mass and places it in the lunette, which he then places in the monstrance, which he turns toward the people. Then he incenses the Blessed Sacrament. A period of adoration follows, which may be accompanied by prayers and readings. At the end of that period, he incenses the sacrament again, puts on the humeral veil, blesses the people, and reposes the sacrament while all say or sing an acclamation.
There are other oddities here: Others are present, including some vested priests, but it appears that the pope is the only one receiving communion. (Something could be happening off camera; I cannot tell.) He adds the prayer of spiritual communion on behalf of the people who cannot participate, so benediction is probably also intended for their benefit.
All of this blurs the line between reality and virtual reality. Is benediction for the priests and others in the chapel with him, or is it for those watching on TV?
It’s not the way that the liturgical books envision the end of mass. But under these circumstances, who am I to judge?