At the Adoration Chapel my wife and I go to there is a sign on the door that basically states that if you leave and are the last one there that you place a veil over the monstrance first before leaving.
This rather disturbs me on a couple of levels. For one it reminds me of putting a cloth over a parakeet cage to put the bird to sleep.
Plus “Redemptionis Sacramentum” is clear, in No. 138:
“Still, the Most Holy Sacrament, when exposed, must never be left unattended even for the briefest space of time. It should therefore be arranged that at least some of the faithful always be present at fixed times, even if they take alternating turns.”
Now I have never seen this chapel unattended and they do make an effort to ensure that someone is signed up 24 hours a day. But really there needs to be another procedure other than placing a veil over the monstrance and leaving. What would actually need to happen is either that somebody is present or that the host must be returned to the tabernacle.
Now this post is not just a rant on this subject, but a look a the silliness of my own interior life. Knowing that the veil procedure is problematic it is often in the back of my mind during adoration. What if everybody leaves leaving me an my wife alone? I would not put the veil on an leave and would be forced to stay until somebody showed up. Thinking these thoughts I realized just how ridiculous they are. Jesus complained that the Apostles would not stay awake one hour with him. Here I was complaining that sure I want to make a Holy Hour, but not a Holy Hour and some unspecified length of time until somebody showed up. As if adoring Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament would become an infringement on my time.
Today at adoration that situation did come about where we were the only ones left and I was towards the end of the third of the four mysteries of the Rosary. I was aware of every sound in the building straining to hear if somebody else would come into the adoration chapel. Finally a young woman came in and I was tempted to say “Tag you’re it” and exit the chapel. I managed to restrain myself and continue on in distracted prayer. Then she left and I was back to the same panic that we were the only ones in the chapel. Though two men later came in as we were finishing up our prayers. I’m just glad I can laugh at myself, though less glad I give myself so many opportunities to do so.