Saturday, 17 October 2009
Forty Hours Devotion...
I didn't know anything about this devotion until I ended up attending one of the Masses at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane. I mean, I'd heard of "Forty Hours" and knew that it meant the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for forty hours, but I didn't realise that there was a specific structure and particular rubrics to be followed.
We're about to have the Forty Hours at Blackfen - Thursday 22nd October - Saturday 24th October, to be precise. So I was keen to find out more.
It seems that the actual number of hours doesn't have to be forty, the devotion just has to happen over three days.
On the first night, there is a Mass of Exposition, followed by a Blessed Sacrament Procession around the church, and the Litany of the Saints is sung, imploring the intercession of the saints for all our needs. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar with at least 20 candles lit in honour. I have no idea why it has to be 20 candles...
On the second day, there is a Mass for Peace, and it is celebrated at a side altar rather than at the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.
After the second night, the devotion ends with the Mass of Reposition, the sung Litany of the Saints and a final procession.
Anyway, at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, the whole thing will kick off with the Mass of Exposition (Extraordinary Form) starting at 8pm on Thursday 22nd October. On the Friday, there will be an English Mass for peace with hymns at 10am, and, at 8pm, a Mass for peace in the Extraordinary Form. Finally, it all ends on Saturday with the Extraordinary Form Mass of Reposition, Litany and Procession at 10:30am.
We need to make sure that there are people watching in the church the whole time the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, so there is a sheet in the porch for people to sign, or forms at the back of the church which can be filled in and posted through the Presbytery letterbox, or it is possible to email Fr. Tim with details of when you can attend... or, alternatively, people can just turn up!
It does help to have a few definite names down though, just to check that the devotion will be possible...
I snaffled the picture from Fr. Michael Brown's post on his own parish's celebration of the Forty Hours. Hopefully I'll soon have some pictures of my own to post!