As we start off a new calendar year 2021, let us join together in prayer for a parish-wide Forty Hours Eucharistic Devotion. It will begin with the daily 8am Mass on Thursday, January 7th and will conclude 40 hours later at Midnight on Friday night.
A sign-up form is now available to ensure that at least one adorer is present for all 40 hours of the devotion.
“When you look at the Crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you then, when you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you now.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
What is the Forty Hours Devotion?
The Forty Hours Devotion is an opportunity to gather as a community before the Blessed Sacrament and to pray before the Lord in solemn adoration. It gives us time to deepen our appreciation of the importance of the mystery of the eucharist in our lives. Traditionally it begins with a celebration of Mass. At the end of this opening Mass the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and over a period of a few days the faithful are given the opportunity to assemble in prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. The form of prayer to be prayed can be done in diverse ways.
In the celebration of the Forty Hours Devotion we are able to witness a fuller expression of our theology of the Eucharist. It is first and foremost about our participation in the Paschal Mystery through our celebration of Mass. In the celebration of Mass we participate directly in the saving acts of Christ and by the grace of the Holy Spirit unite the sacrifices of our lives with the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross. It is in this way that we give praise and thanksgiving to God for Jesus and participate in the true worship of our God by which we are sanctified as His holy people. This leads us then to live out our lives more fully in Christ. This devotion also gives an opportunity to give voice to our belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic elements. As the community gathers in prayer before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, it witnesses to our belief, as a Church, that what is before us is bread no longer but truly the Body of Christ.
The primary setting for the promotion of a life centered in the Eucharist is, of course, the celebration of Mass, but the Church also offers other means of deepening a Eucharistic-centered faith. One such practice is adoration where we gather to pray before the Lord as his presence is revealed to us in the mystery of the eucharistic bread which is truly the Body of Christ. The Forty Hours Devotion gives us the opportunity to come as a community to pray before the Lord in solemn adoration. The Church recommends such solemn adoration at least once a year for each parish.
Excerpted from the Archdiocese of Boston, www.bostoncatholic.com/forty-hours-devotion