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Jeff wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am new to the Catholic faith and am learning a lot very quickly, however, I am unsure of one aspect of our Thursday Evening Mass.

After Mass, the priest:

  • brings out a star burst shaped relic
  • places the bread of the Eucharist in it and then
  • waves incense around it.

He then kneels on an altar, as does the congregation. They then sing a psalm which I have yet to understand.

What is this and what is the song?

Thank You,

Jeff

  { What is going on after Mass when the priest brings out a relic and places the Eucharist inside of it? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Jeff —

Thanks for the question.

You priest is having a period of Eucharistic Adoration after Mass. This is a great practice for any parish. It gives anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, a period where they can sit, pray, and mediate with Our Lord in the Eucharist.

The star burst shaped relic is a monstrance. It is used to hold Our Blessed Lord during a period of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Here are some similar pictures of monstrance's.

After he kneels, he is probably blessing the attendees (those who have stayed after Mass) with the Blessed Sacrament. The hymn he is singing is sung either in Latin or English. Latin, because it is the official language of the Church. It is a song of praise and worship.

Here is a YouTube video of Adoration at a parish.

The thing he is holding in his hands that has smoke coming out from it is a censer. It is used for burning incense. The rising smoke represents the prayers, that will be offered by the people for that period, going up to Heaven.

At the end of the period of the Adoration, which will vary from Church to Church, he will come out again and sing a closing hymn of praise and place the Eucharist back in the Tabernacle.

Hope this answers your question.

Mike

Jeff replied:

Thanks,

Now I will be able to participate and enjoy this much more.

Thanks again,

Jeff

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