A Throne For Our Lord
If we look at the center of the monstrance, we see a circular window. This is where the priest puts the consecrated host that we adore during Eucharistic exposition. I begin here because it clearly shows that Jesus Christ is the center of all we do. Everything about the monstrance, just like everything in life, revolves around Christ. He is our God and Lord and thus he rightly belongs in the center of the monstrance and the center of our lives.
Around the center window, to the top, bottom, and both sides, we see four silver medallions carved with images. These images are an angel, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. These four images represent the four Gospels. The angel represents the Gospel of Matthew, the lion represents Mark, the ox represents Luke, and the eagle represents John. These four medallions surround Jesus, who is sacramentally present in the consecrated host, because these four gospel writers teach us about the life of Christ through their Gospels.
We use the Monstrance during Eucharistic Adoration which we have available twice a day during the week here at St. Mary’s. The Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Adoration is when a priest or deacon puts the consecrated Host into the monstrance and places it upon the altar for prayer and adoration. During this rite we sing ancient hymns called O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo and also pray the Divine Praises. Eucharistic Exposition and Adoration is a time of silence with Jesus Christ. We worship him and give him time and space to speak to us as we kneel before him in the Monstrance. Many parishes have daily Eucharistic exposition and I encourage you to go and spend some time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. If you have never experienced Eucharistic exposition and adoration, go sometime this Easter season to pray before the Lord present in the monstrance.
We can think of the monstrance as a throne for Our Lord, Jesus Christ. As he is seated on this throne we worship and adore him. We give him thanks for what he has done, and continues to do, for us. Before Jesus, as St. Paul writes, every knee bends in adoration and as we adore Christ as he is placed in this monstrance, we have the opportunity to bend our knees and worship our Savior who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Written by Chad Henry (Seminarian for Galveston-Houston)