SELECTING/PREPARING A LOCATION FOR ADORATION
This page contains location planning templates from the ecclesiastically approved Real Presence Association PEA Manual and general information and examples of what parishes in Canada and worldwide are doing.
TEMPLATES FROM THE ECCLESIASTICALLY APPROVED REAL PRESENCE PEA MANUAL:
Perpetual adoration is extended exposition of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament where at least one person is always present. The reason Canon Law requires one person to be with Our Lord during exposition is because Jesus is vulnerable. However, there is currently more danger of sacrilege at Mass, if ministers are not paying attention as guardians of the Blessed Sacrament, because anyone could walk away and desecrate a consecrated Host.
Adoration is a way to experience a taste of Heaven on earth. A quiet and peaceful atmosphere helps to reduce external distractions and can be more conducive to listening to God in adoration. Profound graces and conversions take place when souls have access to and experience the Real Presence of God, Who is Love, and notice that He is being loved and given special attention in adoration. Having an Adoration Invitation Sign-up Weekend schedules adorers to cover hours. People learn value of prayer and adoration. They are invited and encouraged to visit the chapel. By keeping the chapel open, visitors can pray when they want and at times that suit their schedules.
A place for adoration is usually selected before or on the Sign-Up weekend. It needs to be ready before perpetual adoration starts.
Chapel Location and Set Up Worksheets:
Note: It’s helpful but not mandatory to visit other chapels to formulate an idea.
Chapel Prioritization Worksheet:
Chapel Preparation Checklist:
Note: We can provide the forms mentioned in the above checklist (see Coordinator Resources on this website).
“How to Start Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration” instructions note: ‘The best location for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is a Chapel. A Chapel can be kept warm in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer. It creates an atmosphere for quiet intimacy with the Lord. People generally feel more secure in a smaller place. If the Church does not have a Chapel, any small room can be converted into one. A Sacristy, Crying Room, Baptistery, room in church hall, or even a room in the Rectory, Convent or School, are all suitable locations for a Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.’
Each local diocese may have specific guidelines or requirements for renovations and place for adoration. Bishops are blessed and benefit from the great graces perpetual adoration brings to their dioceses and by promoting it in their parishes. If ever needed, we can refer you to a canon lawyer and a priest that we helped to start perpetual adoration.
Some convert a small room like a pantry, storage closet, parish offices, under-utilized side sanctuary area, etc. into a small chapel. In some cases, a few dry-walls could be installed to create a chapel in a corner of a church hall, side sacristy etc. The Tabernacle in the main body of the church is not removed. The adoration chapel has a Monstrance and sometimes there is also a Tabernacle there. Some parishes have weekday Masses in their Adoration chapel for a small group.
Adoration can and does still take place in the main body of the Church in some parishes, especially when no room is possible to convert, renovate or build. However, the adoration can only be done there, when other activities like Funerals and communal Stations of the Cross are not taking place. It is more difficult and expensive to maintain heat or to air condition a large church than a separate small room/chapel; especially in a northern country like Canada that has colder winter weather conditions.
Part-time adoration takes place in so many beautiful churches. It is wonderful and important when parishes keep the church open during the daytime hours for prayer before the Tabernacle. Parishes can start at least part-time exposition if they don’t currently have a separate chapel.
It is good to see generous priests providing opportunities for people to have access to spending time with God, rather than being unable to pray because churches are locked up. As Jesus confided to St. Margaret Mary – He feels abandoned, alone and ignored. Fewer suicides would take place if we had perpetual adoration available as a refuge.
Here is a link for live streaming from the Marytown Online perpetual Adoration chapel that has exposition around the clock in the church in their main church, with reposition for Mass of course:
Some cathedrals have exposition taking place all day in the main body of the church with people dropping in to discover and spend time visiting Jesus.
Having a separate chapel/room is ideal, but not necessary. Adoration can take place in the main body of the church and a Monstrance placed on an Altar.
In most parishes however, experience has proven that the best way to sustain uninterrupted adoration has been to have a separate place.
This parish has adoration in a former convent right beside the church from 9am-6:30pm and Forty Hours devotion once a year and First Fridays in the main body of the church:
Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph help parishes find a place for Adoration
Where there is a will, there is a way. When a family is expecting and loves a child, they will make room. The Holy Family was first told that there was no room at the Inn… We might be wondering, was there, is there? In any case, Joseph found a stable, a manger, a cave…. God chose this humble place and poured out graces to all souls. Joseph and Our Lady adored, warmed by the breath of the lambs, the sheep. Sure enough, more adorers arrived, the shepherds and the Magi…
The place for adoration does not have to be fancy or expensive. One adoration chapel had a small inexpensive monstrance, perched on top of a pedestal they made from a real tree branch. There is beauty in simplicity. A large family knows that Love is what a child needs most. Some parishes are able to be chapel ready in a short period of time, for others more planning is involved. Having a beautiful and safe and welcoming place to adore can make it more attractive to adorers.
Most parishes already have a Monstrance for Eucharistic Adoration. If your parish does not, we may be able to help to procure one. An option is to just have a Monstrance in chapel (without a Tabernacle).
Some chapels have a sacred cloth or curtain for covering the Monstrance for Mass or emergencies and a chapel door that can be locked after last adorer leaves or if the adoration is not round the clock.
Some chapels place Jesus in the Monstrance, safely secured behind unbreakable plexiglass the can be covered by wooden triptych doors or curtains for reposition. It is not necessary to have the plexiglass, but when the Monstrance is secured that way, this also allows for exposition to take place, even if all or some hours are not filled into a schedule or if there is an emergency.
Article about the advantages of an Exposition-Tabernacle that may be of interest:
A Catholic church supplier that sells these through their website noted that with the Exposition-Tabernacle, when the Blessed Sacrament is shown for adoration, it is enclosed in an approved and bulletproof material. The Sacrament is completely safe.
A international missionary with the charism of starting adoration chapels, confirmed that Exposition-Tabernacles are approved and permissible.
A parish in Vancouver BC:
A Monstrance can be placed behind plexiglass with wooden doors for reposition when someone is not present for adoration.
Two-Tabernacles can be permissible
Parishes have and keep their main Tabernacle in main body of church, even if the adoration takes place in a separate chapel in an enclosed area (i.e. with a door) where they have permission to have another Tabernacle. The separate chapel can be in the church or another building. The Tabernacle in the main church is not taken away or hidden away because that would defeat the whole purpose of loving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. We want to give more attention and adoration to God, which means giving our Eucharistic King as much honour and reverence as possible, and not reducing it in any way by removing Jesus as the central focus of attention in the main church.
Pastors have and receive permission to have two Tabernacles (i.e. one in main church and one enclosed in a separate chapel with a door) and the Monstrance for exposition. Many rectories have their own chapel. Chapels can be opened in under-utilized parish office space or halls.
One parish built their unique chapel behind a central Tabernacle that can be accessed on two sides – on the main Church/sanctuary side for Mass and on the chapel side there is a Monstrance for Adoration:
There are many photos on our website and on parish websites with ideas if you are building or renovating a church.
Example of ideas for an overall plan for a parish
Name: [Name of parish, Patron Saint etc] Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel
Adoration Invitation Sign-Up weekend: Will be conducted in advance of the start up date [by visiting missionary], scheduled for nearer to the time when the chapel will be ready. Possibly [date].
Coordinating team: Parish volunteers to coordinate the adoration chapel will be recruited and selected on and in advance of the Sign-Up weekend (i.e. Head Coordinator, 1-4 divisional leaders, 1-24 hourly coordinator, adorers).
Chapel start-up opening date: Usually 4-6 weeks right after the Sign-Up weekend, when the chapel is ready. Possibly [date]. [Note: A feast day or solemnity is a good date to start and have as an anniversary.]
Location for the Eucharistic Adoration chapel: Existing side chapel (located already on east side of church) that was once used as a X room. This is the most ideal place after considering options.
Seating: Pews and kneelers will be placed here. [You could have donors contribute suitable cushioned chairs, couches, or comfortable seats with good back support for seniors etc. Some prefer chairs that are more penitential, while others, in particular the sick or the elderly, may need something more relaxing or that provides warmth in cold climates.]
Lighting: Sufficient for reading and relaxing.
Monstrance: There will be a secured Monstrance with unbreakable plexiglass and reposing doors.
Costs: Parish contractor will/may donate some work at $X or no cost [could provide estimate of costs]. Only 1-2 dry-walls with insulation for sound barrier will be necessary. A new coat of paint can be applied if necessary.
Handicapped Accessible: Handicapped accessible washroom available already. Existing wheelchair ramp.
Parking: Many spaces are available church parking lot.
Heating and cooling: Minor upgrades will be made to the chapel area. This will cost significantly less than heating and cooling the main body of the church. In winter when the chapel is open, the heat will remain at a comfortable room temperature level, for example 20 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit or a little warmer for seniors. If there is air conditioning or a fan, it will not be turned up too cold/high, so people will not catch a chill and can enjoy warm weather after cold winter seasons.
Security (if required i.e. downtown): For night hours, a key pad entry code to be installed at chapel entrance by local security company at a cost of $X [or keys provided for night adorers etc.] Security web camera above chapel entrance or indoors (i.e. for a downtown parish).
Considering the hundreds of thousands of hours of prayer that will be done for decades ahead if your parish starts continual or extended Eucharistic adoration, it is well worth the comparatively small amount of time and effort involved in making this happen in your parish. In the end, it’s all about Love.
Once a Monstrance and some supplies were selected, the above adoration chapel was set up in 2018 in a barren room within about seven hours! The curtains are covering a large window to another room. Regular padded chairs that were available were used.
Please feel welcome to contact us if you have any comments, questions, corrections or to discuss your ideas or options for your parish.