how to set-up an Adoration Chapel
I wondered...  ??? ...if anyone here knows anything about the practicalities of setting-up an Adoration Chapel.

Various places hold regular exposition/Adoration, but I wondered how Adoration Chapels get set-up. Such graces can come from them, especially seen in this Year of Priests.

I know that once you find a venue, you then need a good-sized group of committed people to maintain the vigil... what canonical things are there to be aware of.

Has anyone any good/bad experiences to share?  ;D
I once brought up the idea of starting an Adoration chapel to a priest I knew. He was very happy to do it as soon as one million or so dollars produced itself. Besides monetary constraints, the issue of manpower is a problem. Unless a parish is in a large city with a sizable Christian population, it takes the pious of several nearby churches to staff one Adoration chapel. As such, make sure no such chapel exists within 50 miles of your parish, markadm.

Will have everything you need to know
My parish does adoration on the weekends. This is a sensible middle ground if you don't have enough to do it perpetually.
My parish is just a regular suburban parish and we have Adoration in the chapel 24/7.
we have a rural perpetual adoration chapel.  it can be done if you have the right support from the clergy and the Bishop.  May the Holy Spirit guide you to the right resources if this is Gods will! :pray2:
SoCalLocal provided the link to the best resource I believe is available.  Some thoughts, based on what I observed in my former parish (St. Patrick’s, Pasco, WA, Diocese of Spokane), which now has near perpetual adoration (the Blessed Sacrament is reposed during the weekend Masses, and sometimes during large funerals or weddings, because of the proximity of the adoration chapel to the main church), would be:

Don't wait for a "critical mass" of support for perpetual adoration, start with any modest adoration schedule that can be achieved.

Many, many parishes (Novus Ordo/Ordinary Form) have at least monthly, if not weekly adoration (check the directory at to get some ideas.  First Fridays are popular.  St. Pat’s started with a monthly 12 hour vigil from 8:00 PM Friday night until the start of the First Saturday Mass at 8:00 AM.  That grew to a 24 hour vigil (from the close of the morning First Friday Mass until the following Sat. morning), and then became near perpetual after a few years.  At my current parish (Sacred Heart, Pullman, WA) we have a Holy Hour every Thursday evening, with Adoration.  Public vespers is recited at the half hour, and the hour concludes with Benediction (if Father is available, which he almost always is), otherwise the hour is for silent adoration.

Enlist the support of organized parish groups.  The Knights of Columbus (with the initiative of one particular member, when he was Grand Knight) started the First Friday adoration in my former parish, and the council took responsibility for seeing that all the hours were covered.  While encouraging all parish members to support and take part in adoration is important, having one or more groups take responsibility for it will help achieve it success (and probable help convenience the pastor that it will have support, and won't mean more "work" for him).  It will also help avoid the coordinator having complete “burn out” down the road.

Depending on your church building, there are some advantages to having an adoration chapel (permanent, or a room that can be made into a chapel now and again for adoration), if there is a suitable room, though most churches that have weekday daytime adoration will generally have it in the main church, from what I’ve seen.  Those advantages would include: not having to heat or cool a large church nave for 2 or 3 people, not having adoration inadvertently disrupted by other people (the Altar Society showing up to clean, the choir to practice, etc.).

If adoration will continue through the night, a separate adoration area can provide better security also.  Many churches will have a combination lock on an exterior door accessible to the adoration chapel, and the office will provide the combination to parishioners who ask for it.  It is probable a good practice to change the combination now and again (every six months is common). This provides security for the church building, and safety for late night adorers, who hear a knock on the door.  It is also desirable for the door to have a window, so one can see who one is letting in.

Furnishings should be considered.  If not in a room with pews, one or two prie dieu’s set in front of the altar are nice.  If the room is well carpeted most people can kneel on the floor.  Fresh flowers in season are good (except during Advent and Lent).  Candles are required, and for longer adoration periods, large votive candle vases that hold an 8 day candle (such as are generally used for sanctuary lamps) work well.  In addition to the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, other shrines / statues can be an aid to prayer, and create a devotional atmosphere (especially if the main church is of the “space ship” school of design).  You will also need a Monstrance, and while every church should have one, there may be some, ah, modern parishes, that can’t find theirs.  The pastor may want you to come up with these things, or, you may want to assist with that, if you question his taste in liturgical furnishings.  A book case with material to assist during adoration is good (bibles, breviaries and other prayer books, rosaries, rosary prayer books, Stations of the Cross booklet, devotional materials, bible reading guides).  While some have developed the grace to spend an hour with Our Lord in simple adoration and meditation, most (at least myself) need to have an aid to help keep focused.  Likewise, it is good to have a sheet or booklet with ideas on how to make a Holy Hour.  Here is one my parish has on its pamphlet rack

Some adoration chapels have an offering box, the proceeds from which are used to buy candles, provide for fresh flowers (though donations from personal gardens are best), flower vases, statues, furnishings, supplying the book case, etc.

Promotion is important.  Most people, especially “Ordinary Form” Catholics (and I suppose even some traditionalists) aren’t use to spending an hour in silent prayer.  They will need encouragement, support, and “props” (the book case), to get started, and not give up after one or two visits, “because they didn’t get anything out of it”.  The support of parish organizations, posters, regular bulletin announcements, and getting the priests to talk about it during the sermon, are all important, from what I’ve observed.  Another way to support the importance of adoration is, if there is more than one parish in your area, have the adoration schedule of all of them in the adoration chapel, and in the bulletin.  That way, if your parish adoration time (if it’s not perpetual) doesn’t synch with someone’s schedule, they can still be encouraged to participate at another parish.

Another consideration is the availability of the priest.  I do believe (though I’m not totally certain) that the Novus Ordo / Ordinary Form rubrics permit a priest to delegate the exposing and reposing of the Blessed Sacrament to a lay person (and, they don’t actually touch the host, as it’s enclosed in the luna and pyx, though they do have to touch the sacred vessels).  That wouldn’t be acceptable in a traditional parish, so a priest would have to be available to open and close the adoration period.  Even at St. Pat’s, though the pastor was fairly in the VII spirit when it came to liturgy, and though the parish had armies of Eucharistic Ministers, he would only allow a priest or deacon to open and close adoration.

In addition to the link that SoCalLocal provided, another resource to check out is

Credo makes a valid point regarding having sufficient people available for adoration, though it may not be as difficult as it may seem.  The Tri-Cities area of southeastern Washington State (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland) has a population of around 100k, and is not a heavily Catholic area.  Two parishes (St. Pat’s Pasco and St. Joe’s Kennewick) just 5 miles apart have perpetual adoration, and 4 other parishes within a 20 mile radius have at least monthly adoration.

My primary suggestion is to get a regular adoration started, if just one hour a week, or even once a month, and let it grow from there.  I pray you find success.

(12-16-2009, 07:27 PM)SoCalLocal Wrote:

Will have everything you need to know

Gosh. This looks particularly helpful. I will read it and let you know.

Thank you also to moneil and others for very pertinent comments.
The NO parish I used to attend has an adoration chapel, and its great. Someone is always in there 24 hours a day, and you can go whenever you like, and if you happen to lock yourself outside the house one particular evening and are too nice to wake up your parents to let you in the house, considering its 2am and you said you'd be home at midnight, than its a  great place to spend the night as well, with Our Lord.

Just, yenno, if it ever happens.  :laughing:
(12-17-2009, 10:55 AM)LausTibiChriste Wrote: The NO parish I used to attend has an adoration chapel, and its great. Someone is always in there 24 hours a day, and you can go whenever you like, and if you happen to lock yourself outside the house one particular evening and are too nice to wake up your parents to let you in the house, considering its 2am and you said you'd be home at midnight, than its a  great place to spend the night as well, with Our Lord.

Just, yenno, if it ever happens.  :laughing:

It is always wonderful to hear testimonies of how Our Lord provides for our needs  ;D.

Pondering the topic while herding the cows the past couple of days, I had some other thoughts.  Not knowing anything about your area, the number of parishes, population, etc., or if there is adoration there now, I’m being speculative, but I’m assuming you are thinking of Perpetual Adoration, or nearly so.

As I had said earlier, I believe the place to start is with occasional adoration (once a month, like on First Friday perhaps, or one or more days a week, or revive in your parish the Forty Hours devotion), and start from there, rather than just jump into proposing a “Perpetual Adoration Chapel”.  If there is occasional adoration in your area now, you already have a start.

Occasional adoration can be, and often is, held in the main church.  More frequent adoration would ideally have a special place, and that is something you can ponder as you are at the church(es) in your area – what existing space might be used for that.  Otherwise, the priest may hand you the “million dollar question”, as Credo mentioned.

St. Joseph’s in Kennewick WA (Diocese of Yakima) held their near Perpetual Adoration in the Mother’s Chapel (“crying room”, as it was called in the old days), and the Sacrament was reposed from the beginning of the Saturday morning Mass until after the Sunday evening Mass.  They have since built a new, larger church, and a permanent Adoration Chapel was included in the design, and adoration there is now truly perpetual.  It is a nice space which can hold 12 - 15, with independent heating and cooling controls, and includes access to a lavatory, but looks more like a meeting room than a chapel, in my opinion.

St. Patrick’s in Pasco, WA (Diocese of Spokane) – on the north side of the Columbia River from Kennewick, held adoration in the “crying room” / daily Mass chapel, and adoration grew to become near perpetual, except during the weekend Masses, until some issues caused the pastor to decree that the Sacrament must be reposed whenever there was another function in the church (funeral directors would sit in there during funerals, as they were accustomed to doing before adoration began; the groom’s party would tromp through there on their way from dressing in the rectory basement to get to the sacristy before a wedding, staff kept forgetting to shut off the sound to the chapel when another function was going to happen in the church, or to turn it back on for the weekend Masses, and the single pane of glass separating the chapel from the main church didn’t really isolate the sound from choir practices, etc.).

St. Pat’s (built in 1963) remodeled a couple of years ago to increase the size of the lavatories (two “one hole’rs" in a church that seated 800 and could accommodate over 1,000 with the overflow space just didn’t work well).  A dedicated adoration chapel, which looks like a chapel, and can seat 20, was included.  The sacrament is still reposed during the weekend Masses, but otherwise adoration is continuous.  I’ve thought about taking a picture when I’m home for Christmas, but I’m wondering if I should be doing that in the presence of the exposed Blessed Sacrament, and when people are praying (if I find the Sacrament reposed and the chapel empty sometime, I may).

When I lived in Twin Falls, ID (Diocese of Boise) in the 1990’s, St. Edward’ (built in 1910), converted the separate altar servers sacristy to an adoration chapel, which worked well, though the room could accommodate only 2 or 3 adorers at a time, and was not handicapped accessible, except through the main church (there was a separate outside entrance, for those who could manage steps).

Another thought is that many parishes have convent buildings that are no longer used as convents.  Most convents I’ve seen have a chapel with it’s own outside entrance, and positioned so that it could be easily secured from the rest of the building.  If that kind of space is available it could work well (baseboards could be added so the whole building wouldn’t have to be heated – or a heat pump, if funds are available) , though some accommodation would probable be needed to make it handicapped accessible, as most will have steps at the entrance.

When it comes to adoration, the “space” is the least important aspect.  If there is a dedicated group of people who wish to adore The Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the pragmatic issues will eventually come around, with prayer and patience.  However, the question of “where” will probable be one of the first one’s raised, so it’s probable a good idea to have some initial “answers” to those objections or concerns.

If there is a parish in your area that may be considering a new church building, and a momentum for adoration can be achieved, that could be ideal, as an adoration chapel could be included in the design.  Otherwise, use some creative thinking about existing space.  This is where it is also good to enlist support from existing parish organizations (in addition to promoting and staffing adoration), for fundraising, and for volunteer labor to remodel space. 


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