I’ve seen my fair share of adoration chapels, and they can be pretty different. You’ve got round chapels, rectangular chapels, trapezoidal chapels with a tabernacle in the far corner. There could be pews or chairs, candles or stained glass, maybe a simple, circular monstrance or an intricate wood-carved Mary-holding-Jesus monstrance (those exist, seriously).
But there’s something that always stays consistent: the types of people. Sure, there’s some variation and crossover, but these are the people you are most likely to meet no matter what chapel you visit.
1. The Novelist
You can hear their pencil scratching as they scribble a few (dozen) pages worth of prayer. Their pen literally does not stop moving for an hour. They go through an entire journal during retreats.
Why We Love Them: This person reminds us that journaling is a great way to pray. We admire the way they so deeply value what the Lord is speaking to them.
2. Piety Embodied
They do the Sign of the Cross with precision, genuflect slowly, and will probably stay on their knees throughout their Holy Hour, even if they’re kneeling on tile. You’re amazed at the way they maintain perfect prayer hands, and you get distracted by how not-at-all-distracted they are.
Why We Love Them: This person has an unmatched respect for the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. They always show Him reverence and worship Him purposefully.
3 & 4. The Old Couple Whispering Really Loudly
They hold hands when they walk in, sit in “their spot,” pull out well-loved Rosaries, and pray under their breaths . . . sort of. It’s more of a loud murmur, a hum of Hail Mary’s said so fervently that you’re sure this couple is praying for a wayward grandchild.
Why We Love Them: When we see them in the chapel, we see an example of unmatched devotion—to the Lord and to each other. They show us the beauty of a relationship that lasts the test of time because it has its roots in prayer.
5. The Walking Library
They open their backpack and unload more books than you’ve ever read in your entire life. The Bible, the Catechism, paperbacks about saints, encyclicals, theological works, maybe a personal retreat—and they seem enthralled by every single one.
Why We Love Them: They remind us how important it is to soak in Scripture and to keep learning about the Lord in new ways. They always offer theological insight, and we know we can count on them to help us understand Church teaching.
6. The Priest
I’d say this is pretty self-explanatory.
Why We Love Them: Priests that make time for personal prayer, in all their busyness, are examples of radical discipleship. They show us that everyone—even people who have dedicated their whole life to the Church—still have to come back to Jesus to be filled.
7. “Childlike Wonder”
The embodiment of “be still and know that I am God,” this person literally spends their Holy Hour just staring at Jesus in the Eucharist. That’s it. They seem totally captivated, like a small child watching a Disney movie.
Why We Love Them: Sometimes we forget that prayer is all about relationship, and this person shows us how simple that can be. We want to imitate that childlike disposition of total trust and serenity in the presence of Christ.
8. Just Plain Childlike
The opposite of “be still,” this tiny human will definitely take laps around the chapel and ask upwards of 20 questions. They will flip through hymnals, inspect every statue, and maybe throw a tantrum or two, just to mix it up.
Why We Love Them: This person brings joy and life to the chapel. We love being part of a Church where everyone—no matter how young—is seen with dignity. Plus, they give us a chance to meditate on how deeply the Father loves us when we act like kids.
9. The Parent
Accompanying Just Plain Childlike is this adult, answering questions, calming tantrums, and even trying to sneak in their own prayers. They’ll definitely give their child(ren) some disciplinary side-eye, and will probably stare longingly at the statue of Mary holding a well-behaved baby Jesus.
Why We Love Them: This person demonstrates heroic love for their children and for the Lord. Bringing kids to a small, quiet place is no small task, so we admire parents who pursue personal holiness and model a spiritual life for their young ones.
10. The Snoozer
This person tries to hide by leaning on the pew in front of them or even lying prostrate, but make no mistake: they’re totally asleep. Bonus points if they snore.
Why We Love Them: They bring new meaning to the idea of “resting in the Lord.” They help us remember that our God is a God of gentleness, peace, and mercy.
11. Come As You Are
Shoes off, sitting on the floor, Bible splayed open: this person makes the chapel their home. They bring a mug, a blanket, and/or a beat-up journal, and might even call their Holy Hours “coffee dates with Jesus.”
Why We Love Them: This person shows us that the Lord wants to encounter us in our everyday lives. We admire how at-home they feel in prayer, and we learn from the way they cherish their time with Jesus in the Eucharist.
12. Jesus Christ
This guy is always in the adoration chapel, always engaged with whomever shows up, and always excited to see you. He’s pretty famous, but that doesn’t stop Him from giving you one-on-one attention. Seeing Him is sure to make your day.
Why We Love Him: He makes Himself vulnerable and available by being present under the veil of bread. We want to model our entire lives after Him—His mercy, His strength, and His love for every type of person. Whenever we go to the chapel, we are able to meet the Creator of the universe. Surely, seeing Him is worth stopping by