Friday, April 25, 2008

Cara Study of the Sacraments - Adoration

Let's continue with the CARA study of the sacraments as it relates to the Eucharist. This time let's look at questions about Eucharistic adoration. The question was asked: "Does your local parish offer opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration where the Eucharist/Holy Communion is
displayed and people come to pray and worship?" Of those surveyed, 47% responded "Yes," 6% said "No," and 47% said "I don't know." A more meaningful picture is developed when the responses are broken down by Mass attendance. Not suprisingly, the more people go to Mass, the more they know whether their parish offers adoration or not.

  • For those who attend weekly or more: 83% - Yes; 7% - No; 10% - I don't know.
  • For those attending less than weekly but at least monthly: 59% - Yes; 10% - No; 31% - I don't know.
  • For those attending a few times per year or less: 28% - Yes; 3% - No; 69% - I don't know.

The good news here is that it would appear that Eucharistic adoration of some sort is going on in the vast majority of parishes. Jesus is inviting us to come to him.

The breakdown by generations regarding those who responded "I don't know" is:

  • Pre-Vatican II - 36%
  • Vatican II - 46%
  • Post-Vatican II - 52%
  • Millennials - 52%

As a reminder, the generation breakdowns are:

  • Pre-Vatican II (Born in 1942 and earlier, or 66 years old and older in 2008)
  • Vatican II (Born between 1943 and 1960, or 48 to 65 years old in 2008)
  • Post-Vatican II (sometimes called "Generation X," born between 1961 and 1981, or 27 to 47 years old in 2008)
  • Millennial Generation (Born between 1982 and 1990, or 18 to 26 years old in 2008)

CARA suggests that these results may be due to lower Mass attendance by younger generations.

Then CARA asked about participation in Eucharistic adoration: "Have you participated in Eucharistic Adoration at your parish or elsewhere within the last year?" (this was for those respondents who said that their parishes did offer Eucharistic adoration):

  • Yes - 29%
  • No - 71%

Again, as one would expect, the more one attends Mass, the more people participate in Eucharistic adoration:

  • Weekly or more: Yes - 43%; No - 57%
  • Less than weekly but at least once a month: Yes - 35%; No - 65%
  • A few times a year or less: Yes - 8%; No - 92%

The more one attends Mass, the more one realizes the nature and importance of the Eucharist. The more one realizes the nature and importance of the Eucharist, the more one is drawn to the Eucharist.

There were very interesting results in a breakdown by ethnicity for those who have participated in Eucharistic adoration:

  • Hispanics: 37%
  • Non-Hispanic whites: 26%

Clearly, Hispanic Catholics have much to teach Non-Hispanic white Catholics about the value of Eucharistic adoration in our faith lives.

The breakdown by generation for those who responded yes to participating in Eucharistic adoration is:

  • Pre-Vatican II - 37%
  • Vatican II - 30%
  • Post-Vatican II - 27%
  • Millennials - 21%

This breakdown is not surprising in the decreasing percentages from older to younger generations. On the other hand, one could argue that 21% among the Millennials is better than one might have thought it would be.

According to the question, I would not be able to respond "yes." I go to visit Jesus in the tabernacle, but it has been some time since I have made it to adoration when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. But that will change on May 25. My parish is having a Eucharistic procession for Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. I have been organizing it, which has been a wonderful experience (more on that later). I have had adoration in front of a webcam of the Eucharist (see my blog entry of 4/4/08), which is a different 21st century twist of a very old practice.

My final entry on the CARA study will look at the statistics about belief in the Real Presence.

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