Q: I have two questions regarding the practice of exposition, adoration, and benediction. I am trying to remain as faithful as possible to the ritual as detailed in the Worship of Holy Communion Outside of Mass and in need of some clarity.
Question 1: Do you ever envision a time where Benediction would NOT be offered at any point during an extended 3-day period of Solemn Exposition and Adoration? I see in the book that Benediction is always referred to “toward the end” of exposition, so my position is that we ALWAYS should do it toward the end. No exception. I’ve recently been told by certain Religious and Clergy that we don’t NEED to do Benediction every time we do Exposition and Adoration. I pushed back, citing how it’s written in the rite, and my personal position is that it IS required. Can you offer your opinion on this also?
Question 2: For an ordained deacon offering Benediction, is the cope AND humeral veil always required? Or could the deacon, while vested in alb and stole, offer Benediction while wearing JUST the humeral veil and NOT the cope?
A: In Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, during an extended exposition, the Blessed Sacrament may be temporarily replaced in the tabernacle with a blessing (88). The implication is that a blessing will follow, but it does not demand it.
When a lay minister reposes the Blessed Sacrament in the absence of a priest or deacon, there is no blessing (91).
So, there are circumstances when the blessing does not happen, but if a deacon or priest is available after a three-day period of adoration (!), why would he not give it?
Regarding vesture, while imparting a blessing with the Blessed Sacrament, a deacon, like a priest, wears cope and humeral veil (92).