The Forty Hours devotion is a special forty-hour period of continuous prayer made before the Blessed Sacrament in solemn exposition.
Our parish will hold the forty-hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament from Sunday 26th November, the Solemnity of Jesus Christ Universal King until Tuesday 28th November. This is to help us prepare spiritually for the ordination to the Priesthood of Deacon Paul Denney, a parishioner of our parish, and to pray for the needs of our world, our Church, our parish and our own intentions too.
The parish bulletin will contain all the information regarding the times of adoration, Masses, Holy Hours and devotions which will make up the parish Forty Hours.
Here is an explanation of what the Forty Hours devotion is all about:
The Forty Hours devotion is a special 40 hour period of continuous prayer made before the Blessed Sacrament in solemn exposition. The focus of this devotion is on the Most Holy Eucharist. As Catholics, the words of the Lord burn in our hearts: “I myself am the living bread come down from Heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world”. (John 6:51)
Affirming our belief in the real presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, the Second Vatican Council taught that the Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11). While the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the central act of worship for us Catholics, an act which participates in the eternal reality of our Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, Vatican II upheld and encouraged the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass. Such devotion derives from the sacrifice of the Mass and moves the faithful to both sacramental and spiritual communion with the Lord (Eucharisticum Mysterium 50).
The number forty has always signified a sacred period of time: the rains during the time of Noah lasted forty days and nights; the Jews wandered through the desert for forty years, our Lord fasted and prayed for forty days before beginning his public ministry. The Forty Hours devotion remembers the traditional forty hour period from the Lord’s burial until the resurrection.
The Forty Hours devotion provides a wonderful opportunity for the spiritual growth of each person and the parish as a whole. In a world where temptation and evil abound, where devotion to the Mass and our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament have declined, where the practice of penance and confession have been forgotten, we pray that our Forty Hours of adoration will increase the love and respect we have for the Lord and his sacraments.