Exposing the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration - lay people

There is a local church that has a prayer chapel and in the prayer chapel there is a cabinet with wooden doors. Inside the cabinet doors is a monstrance with the host in it. This monstrance is behind a locked plexy glass door. Is it okay for a lay person to open the wooden doors for adoration? If answering, would you please site source of information.

Great question! I wonder if @CanadianPriest can give some insight on this.

Welcome to the forum @Trinity !

And thank you @Cade_One for tagging me.

Although I can’t give a complete answer since I am embarrassed to say that I do not have a complete ritual book for the worship of the Eucharist outside of Mass (in my defence, the Canadian bishops have not produced an edition of there own), I can at least share what canon law says.

Can. 943 in the Code of Canon Law says:

The minister of exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and of eucharistic benediction is a priest or deacon; in special circumstances, the minister of exposition and reposition alone without benediction is the acolyte, extraordinary minister of holy communion, or someone else designated by the local ordinary; the prescripts of the diocesan bishop are to be observed.

So, the diocesan bishop can permit lay members of the faithful to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament. Presumably the diocesan bishop (or one of his predecessors) gave permission for this to happen in your case, though I suppose we can’t be certain.

Once again, there could be information in the official ritual book to which I do not have ready access. But this is the only definitive legislation I had on hand.

By way of a postscript, it may be worth noting that the liturgical laws were probably not crafted with this situation in mind. These chapels seem to be a more recent phenomenon. I am aware of various parishes with similar set-ups, but not of any that pre-date the pontificate of St. John Paul II. Perhaps in the future there will be more particular legislation about such things.


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