Solemn Exposition

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Thank you again for your guidance and liturgical advice.  You are a blessing!

With regards to the term “Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist,” besides within the compilation of rubrics and texts published in the USCCB Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist, can you cite any other official Liturgical Books or documents that use the term “Solemn Exposition.”  Correspondingly, what do you think the term “Solemn” signifies…long periods of Exposition?  I ask because “Solemn Exposition” connects the period of exposition to Mass while Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass does not seem to suggest that exposition occur directly after Mass.  What are your thoughts? 

Thanks again!


A: There are a couple of references to solemn exposition in Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass. Paragraph 86 calls it solemn if it is extended over a period of time with a suitable number of the faithful present. Paragraph 94 says that when this happens, the host is to be consecrated during the Mass that precedes solemn exposition.

I think solemn signifies exposition of a host in a monstrance, as opposed to setting a covered ciborium on the altar, and that the length of time is substantial. Solemnity implies the use of incense, music and a humeral veil.