Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Quarant' Ore At Blackfen...
On Thursday we are starting our annual Forty Hours' Exposition, commonly known as the Quarant' Ore. It's a wonderful event. It starts with Mass, and a Procession, and a Litany, and then Our Lord is exposed on the Altar for Adoration for the next forty hours (hence the name.) Then everything finishes with another Mass, Litany, Procession and Benediction (I think... I'm a bit hazy on how it ends because I'm usually keeping my eyes open with matchsticks by this point...)
It is a tremendous privilege for the Parish to have the Quarant'Ore. People can come along to the church whenever they can, for as long a time as they want... or, if only for a few minutes, that's ok as well. If you are fortunate enough to be able to attend at the end, there is a palpable sense of loss as the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the Tabernacle. It is incredibly moving.
It reminds me of my own return to the Church, twenty years ago - and it's as vivid as if it was yesterday - I became aware that Our Lord is waiting for each one of us, waiting for us to turn and face him, to spend some time with him, to invite him into our lives. He will never force himself upon us, he just waits for us to recognise him and accepts whatever acknowledgement we give him.
It rather brings a lump to my throat just thinking of how immensely patient he is with us.