109. Eucharistic congresses, which have been introduced into the life of the Church in more recent times as a special manifestation of Eucharistic worship, should be considered as a “station” to which a particular community invites the entire local Church, or a local Church invites other Churches of a particular region or nation, or even from the entire world, that together they may understand more deeply some aspect of the mystery of the Eucharist and worship it publicly in the bond of love and unity.

It is therefore essential that congresses of this sort be a true sign of faith and love by reason of the full participation of the local Church and the association, indicated above, of other Churches.

110. Suitable studies should be made of the place, theme and program for the celebration of the congresses, both by the local Church and by other Churches. These studies should lead to the consideration of genuine needs and should foster the progress of theological study and the good of the local Church. In these inquiries, the assistance of experts in theological, biblical, liturgical, and pastoral matters, as well as in the human sciences, should be employed.

111. In preparing for a congress, the following should be done above all:

  1. a more thorough catechesis on the Eucharist, especially as the mystery of Christ living and working in the Church, suited to the capacity of different groups;
  2. more active participation in the Sacred Liturgy, fostering at the same time a prayerful hearing of the word of God and the fraternal sense of the community;13
  3. the study of resources and the implementation of social works for the sake of human development and the right distribution of goods, including temporal goods, following the example of the primitive Christian community,14 so that the leaven of the Gospel, as a force in the growth of contemporary society, and the pledge of future glory15 may be diffused in some measure from the Eucharistic table.

112. The celebration itself of the congress should follow these criteria:16

  1. the celebration of the Eucharist should truly be the center and summit to which all the undertakings and various forms of piety should be directed;
  2. celebrations of the word of God, catechetical sessions, and public conferences should be planned, so that the proposed theme may be explored more deeply and its practical aspects set out more clearly;
  3. opportunity should be given, either for common prayers or for extended adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament, exposed in certain designated churches that seem more suitable for this pious exercise;
  4. the norms for Eucharistic processions should be observed with regard to the organization of the procession, so that the Most Blessed Sacrament is carried through the streets of the city with common hymns and prayers,17 taking into account the social and religious conditions of the place.


13 Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, nos. 41-52; Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium, no. 26. 

14 CfActs 4:32. 

15 Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 47; Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis redintegratio, no. 15. 

16 Cf. Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium, no. 67: Acta Apostolicæ Sedis 59 (1967), pp. 572-573. 

17 Cf. above, nos. 101-108.

Excerpts from the English translation of Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery outside Mass © 2020, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

Image Source: AB/Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

The Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments promotes the sacred liturgy in accordance with the renewal undertaken by the Second Vatican Council. Its areas of competence include all matters that pertain by law to the Apostolic See concerning the regulation and promotion of the sacred liturgy and vigilance in ensuring that the laws of the Church and the liturgical norms are faithfully observed in every place.