Printable version

[The following Holy Hour is a model based on the ritual book Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, which should be followed in all respects. A resource by the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship entitled Thirty-One Questions on Adoration of the Blessed
may also be helpful in planning.]



After all have assembled, a priest or deacon, wearing cope and humeral veil, brings the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar and places it in a monstrance, a song may be sung. He may be accompanied by altar servers with candles.

Opening Song

O SALUTARIS Hostia                 O SAVING Victim opening wide
Quae caeli pandis ostium.         The gate of heaven to all below.
Bella premunt hostilia;                Our foes press on from every side;
Da robur, fer auxilium.                Thine aid supply, Thy strength bestow.

Uni trinoque Domino                   To Thy great name be endless praise
Sit sempiterna gloria:                   Immortal Godhead, One in Three;
Qui vitam sine termino,                Oh, grant us endless length of days,
Nobis donet in patria. Amen.      In our true native land with Thee. Amen.
The Blessed Sacrament is placed on the altar. The presiding minister then kneels before the altar and incenses the Blessed Sacrament. The opening song is concluded and a period of silent prayer follows.

Opening Prayer

The presiding minister then goes to the chair, where he prays:

Presiding Minister:      
O God, source of all life and goodness,
you fashion human lives in your image and likeness,
and through your love, give each human life
dignity, sanctity and priceless worth;          
awaken in every heart
new reverence for the least of your children,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of human life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.      
All:     Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

Reading 1                      Is 49:1, 3, 5-6, 13-15   LFM 246, 258

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.

He said to me, You are my servant,
in you, Israel, I show my glory.

For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!

I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

The word of the Lord.
ALL:  Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm                  Ps 139: 1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15     LFM 462

R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.

R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Truly you have formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works.

R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

My soul also you knew full well;
nor was my frame unknown to you
When I was made in secret,
when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.

R. I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Gospel Acclamation        cf. MT 11:25    LFM 163-2

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.  

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel                         Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14    LFM 414

+ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, Amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
All:  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

At the conclusion of the last reading a priest or a deacon preaches the homily, followed by an extended period of silent prayer.


The Presiding Minister may offer insights on the following: (1) the priceless value of every human life; (2) our duty to preserve and protect all vulnerable individuals through prayer, education, public advocacy and pastoral care; and (3) God’s merciful love which forgives, heals and cherishes all repentant sinners, including those who have been involved in abortion.  

Period of Silent Reflection and Adoration


Standing at the chair, the presiding minister invites the people to pray:

Presiding Minister:  God is the author of life. In him we place our trust and hope as we pray:

Deacon or Other Minister:    

          Our response is:  Lord, have mercy.

          For the mother who awakens each morning with the memory of abortion
          fresh in her mind …

All:    Lord, have mercy

          For the father whose child died with his cooperation and consent …

R.      Lord, have mercy

          For the parents who influenced their child’s choice to abort their grandchild …

R.      Lord, have mercy

          For the doctors, nurses and counselors who work at abortion facilities …

R.      Lord, have mercy

          For scientists and pharmaceutical employees who manufacture abortifacient
          drugs …      

R.      Lord, have mercy                                       

          For those whose work involves promoting abortion and contraceptive use …

R.      Lord, have mercy  

          For elected leaders who oppose any restriction on the abortion license …

R.      Lord, have mercy

          For an end to legal abortion in our nation and for the conversion of all hearts …

R.      Lord, have mercy

          For repentance, healing and peace for those involved in abortion in any way …

R.      Lord, have mercy

Presiding Minister:
God our Creator,
Lord and Redeemer of mankind,
we give thanks to you,
who alone have the power to impart the breath of life
as you form each of us in our mother’s womb;
you alone have the power to forgive sins against human life,
and to heal the wounds caused by these sins;
grant the prayers we have placed before you,
and grant that we, your children,
will place all our trust in your Divine Mercy
so that the world and all its inhabitants may be saved.
Through Christ our Lord.
All:   Amen.    


The presiding minister goes to the altar, genuflects, and then kneels. As he kneels, Tantum ergo Sacramentum or another suitable Eucharistic song is sung, and he incenses the Blessed Sacrament.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum  
             Down in adoration falling,
Veneremur cernui:                                Lo! the sacred Host we hail,
Et antiquum documentum                   Lo! oe'r ancient forms departing
Novo cedat ritui:                                     Newer rites of grace prevail;
Praestet fides supplementum             Faith for all defects supplying,
Sensuum defectui.                                Where the feeble senses fail.

Genitori, Genitoque                               To the everlasting Father,
Laus et iubilatio,                                    And the Son Who reigns on high
Salus, honor, virtus quoque                With the Holy Spirit proceeding
Sit et benedictio:                                    Forth from each eternally,
Procedenti ab utroque                         Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Compar sit laudatio. Amen.                Might and endless majesty.  Amen.

After the hymn is finished, he rises and sings or says:

Presiding Minister: You have given them Bread from Heaven.

All:         Having all sweetness within it.

Presiding Minister: Let us pray.

After a brief period of silence, the presider continues:

Lord Jesus Christ,
you gave us the Eucharist
as the memorial of your suffering and death.
May our worship of this sacrament of your body and blood
help us to experience the salvation you won for us
and the peace of the kingdom
where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

All: Amen.

After the prayer, the presider puts on the humeral veil, genuflects, and takes the monstrance. He makes the sign of the cross with the monstrance over those gathered, in silence.


After the blessing the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the monstrance and brought to the place of reservation. Meanwhile, the presiding minister may lead those assembled in the Divine Praises. Each acclamation is repeated by all, together.

Divine Praises

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints. Amen
After the Divine Praises are finished, the hymn is sung, and the presiding minister and the servers bow to the altar and leave.

Closing Song  

“Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”


Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.