Each day Eucharistic adoration may be done both when the Eucharist is exposed for viewing and when it is not. It may take place in the context of the liturgical rite of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament or an informal "visit" to pray before the tabernacle. Writer Valerie Schmalz notes that "During the first part of the twentieth century, it was common for Catholics, young and old, on their way home from work or school, en-route to the grocery store or a sports practice, to "stop in for a visit" to the Blessed Sacrament in their local church. Most times the Eucharist was not exposed, but a red candle – then, as now – showed the Presence in the tabernacle."
Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic church has made Eucharistic exposition and benediction a liturgical service in its own right and exercised more direction over its practice; it draws its primary meaning from the Eucharistic celebration itself. "By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, The Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us."
At the beginning of the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a priest or deacon removes the sacred host from the tabernacle and places it in the monstrance on the altar for adoration by the faithful. A monstrance is the vessel used to display the consecrated Eucharistic Host, during Eucharistic adoration or benediction.
The adoration may also take place when the Eucharist is not exposed but left in a ciborium, which is likewise placed on an altar or in an enclosed tabernacle so that the faithful may pray in its presence without the need for volunteers to be in constant attendance (as is required when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed).
The "Instruction on Eucharistic Worship", issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 25th May 1967, reads in pertinent part, "The exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, for which either a monstrance or a ciborium may be used, stimulates the faithful to an awareness of the marvellous presence of Christ and is an invitation to spiritual communion with Him. It is therefore an excellent encouragement to offer Him that worship in spirit and truth which is His due."
Speaking to a gathering in Phoenix Park, during a three-day visit to Ireland, from 29th September – 1st October 1979, Pope John Paul II said,
"The visit to the Blessed Sacrament is a great treasure of the Catholic faith. It nourishes social love and gives us opportunities for adoration and thanksgiving, for reparation and supplication. Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Holy Hours, and Eucharistic processions are likewise precious element of your heritage - in full accord with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council
Exposition in our parish takes place each weekday for half an hour before mass. Once a year we Celebrate Quarant Ore (Forty Hours) leading up to our Corpus Christi Procession and Open-air mass."