Taking Children to Adoration

class at Adoration

I teach at St. Margaret Mary School, and the students in grades five through eight participate in the first Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They witness the Blessed Sacrament being exposed in a monstrance for a day of Adoration. This year we just happened to have an all-school Mass on the first Friday of the month, and I realized that many of my students were unfamiliar with Eucharistic Adoration. I knew I wanted to share this special devotion with my students. But first I had to decide how to share it with them.

Whenever I spend quiet time with Our Lord during Adoration, I pray the Rosary or read some spiritual writings. My mother took part in a weekly holy hour during the last ten years of her life. She filled her time before the Blessed Sacrament with prayer cards, holy cards, and her Rosary. Her stack of prayer cards and holy cards always seemed to spill out of her prayer book. One year for Mother’s Day my sisters and I thought she’d like a Bible with a stylish cloth case to take with her. When we asked her about the gift, she sheepishly told us that she leaves the Bible at home and puts all of her prayer cards in the case so she doesn’t lose any of them.

Reflecting on my own experience with Adoration, I realized why I wanted to share this devotion with my students: I wanted them to experience the peace and joy of spending quiet time with Our Lord. I wanted them to have a special time of stillness and silence and experience a sense of the sacred during a regular school day.

Since I was working with third graders, I adjusted the time we were to spend before the Blessed Sacrament, but not my expectations. I began by explaining that the monstrance contains the Blessed Sacrament, a consecrated host that is truly the Body of Christ. I used a dramatic voice to remind them that this is a big deal: “Jesus! Right Here! In Front of Us!”

I then talked about our posture and how we can choose to sit or kneel while spending time in the chapel. I told them that when I was in grade school, we knelt down and genuflected on both knees when we were in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. We practiced this in our classroom, but I told them that because the chapel was a small space, we would just genuflect by dropping to one knee.

Next we talked about what we can do while we are in the chapel. I told the children they could just talk silently with Jesus or pray the Rosary and other prayers. I found a fantastic booklet for them too. We were all set.

Adoration chapel

We walked into the church and entered the chapel. It was a beautiful experience to watch my students filing in. There were three women who were praying in the chapel. I had told my students to expect that we would encounter other people there, and they were very respectful. The students picked where they wanted to sit. Some sat and some kneeled. They were very respectful and really took advantage of this grace-filled time. I even had a chance to pray most of my Rosary.

My goal was to spend 15 minutes in Adoration; we made it to 12 minutes when the first student had to use the restroom. This, I realized was my only mistake—I forgot to take time for a restroom break before we left.

I really treasure the ability to take my students to Adoration and felt blessed to be able to introduce them to this devotion. I had goosebumps watching them so deep in prayer. I hope that their relationship with Our Lord only grows closer each day.

Have you taken your students to Adoration? What other special devotions have you shared with your students?

About Barb Gilman 34 Articles
Barb Gilman is a wife, mother, and third-grade Catholic school teacher. She is the winner of the 2014 NCEA Distinguished Teacher Award for the Plains States. Active on social media, @BarbinNebraska is the co-organizer of the #CatholicEdChat on Twitter.

9 Comments on Taking Children to Adoration

  1. Kids like Adoration. Kids like silence. They need to be prepared and shown what to do, but these are moments they value. Your experience tracks with mine.

  2. The Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction is fairly sparse in its directions regarding how this rite is to be celebrated, particularly the period of adoration during exposition. It is not, however, totally silent. It reads in part:

    “96. During the exposition there should be prayers, songs, and readings to direct the attention of the faithful to the worship of Christ the Lord.

    To encourage a prayerful spirit, there should be readings from scripture with a homily or brief exhortation to develop a better understanding of the Eucharistic mystery. It is also desirable for the people to respond to the word of God by singing and to spend some periods of time in religious silence.”

    Thus, rather than envisioning an experience of strictly individual, silent, private prayer the rite seems to envision a blending and balance between individual and communal and between spoken and silent.

    • Thanks Brian for the added information. A local church does offers this once a month on Sunday evenings. I should share this with my students.

  3. Barb, I really liked how you prepared your children to be with the Lord in Adoration. The booklet that you used is really a great tool for kids to help guide their heart in prayer.
    During RE we had a wonderful opportunity for Mass and Adoration. There was some music and silence. Fr. Jason introduced Adoration as just to be with Jesus. My catechists were moved by the music, the silence, and witnessing Fr. Jason’s deep prayer before Benediction. The catechists wanted more times for quiet Adoration. Many graces received that time!

  4. This is wonderful, thanks Barb! One of my catechists begins taking her 2nd graders to the Eucharistic chapel during Advent. She brings them in front of the nativity first and asks the children to talk about how Mary and Joseph are looking at Jesus. Then she explains that we can also look at Jesus that way and be in his presence. Then every week they begin stopping in the chapel for just a couple minutes. The kids love it so much, the begged their substitute to take them when the teacher was out!

    • What a beautiful story, Darcy! I loved that the guest teacher is encouraged by the students to continue the practice.

  5. I have taken 6th graders to Adoration and I had previously viewed CHildren In Adoration on the internet and how they allowed children to be present on the altar and to bow in adoration if they chose to. This allows the children to let the Holy Spirit to fill them. Some of my students felt inclined to do this, the others stayed lower on the steps. I felt my Lord wanted me to do that for them that day.

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