Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ: Forty Hours – Day 2

One of the main themes of WDTPRS is Save the Liturgy – Save the World.

I think that the way we, as a Church and as small communities within the Church, worship God in liturgical prayer, affects the whole world.

Celebrate Holy Mass well, the world is positively affected.

Celebrate Holy Mass poorly, the whole world is harmed.

I think the rite of Mass, rites of the sacraments, rites of our devotions make a difference to the world.

After long reflection, I think that the older form of these rites accomplishes these things more effectively.

And so the devotion we call the Forty Hours Prayer, originally intended precisely to ask God’s help to avert calamities through worship before the Blessed Sacrament solemnly exposed, it sorely needed today.

And it should be done correctly.

In Fortescue/O’Connell (p. 333) we read that the Clementine Instruction (which governed the Quarant’ore Prayer, Forty Hours) said:

A sign (e.g., a shield) or banner should be placed over the door of the church, bearing a symbol of the Blessed Sacrament, that people may see that the Forty Hours are being held there. 

Naturally this comes from a place, Rome, where people as they walked about – which is most common – passed in front in numerous churches.

Here at Mater Ecclesiae this is what you find as you come to the main entrance to the church.

To the left of the door, but very prominently displayed, there is a shield with a symbol of the Blessed Sacrament.

Within, day and night, people are praying for you and for the world.  The Blessed Sacrament is never left alone.  A few people are there even in the middle of the night.

Later this afternoon, there will be the second sung Mass.  The undersigned will be the celebrant.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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9 Responses to Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ: Forty Hours – Day 2

  1. Father Z: After long reflection, I think that the older form of these rites accomplishes these things more effectively.

    Then I wonder how you might counter the argument of some that every Mass should be celebrated in the best possible way. I’ve heard this argument by some traditional priests who say they fully agree with the validity of the OF, but personally celebrate only the EF because they want never to give God any less than the greatest glory they can offer Him at each and every Mass they celebrate.

  2. David says:

    Thank you, Father!

  3. dcs says:

    My wife and I took turns at adoration today – this is the first time we’ve been able to make it to Forty Hours at Mater Ecclesiae (except for the closing Mass coram Sanctissimo) – I could not believe how quiet and peaceful it was. In fact, while my children were playing a bit rambunctiously outside (we saw Fr. Z. as he took the picture of the church’s exterior – my son whispered to me “I think that’s Fr. Zuhlsdorf!”) I felt like a rude intruder on the peace of the day.

    One can’t see it very well in the pictures, but there is a statue of St. John Neumann in front of the pulpit.

  4. Henry: Then I wonder how you might counter the argument of some that every Mass should be celebrated in the best possible way.

    Well… I agree with that. Every Mass should indeed be celebrated in the best way.

  5. Steve says:

    Somewhere there was a saying in a sacristy over the vestment case which stated: Priest of God, Say this Mass as if it were your First Mass, as if it were your last Mass, as if it were your ONLY Mass. If only this could be done no matter what form is being used. I have witnessed both forms and some have been beautiful while others were horrendous. No matter which rite is used, the miracle of the Eucharist and the action of Calvary still take place. No matter if the priest is called Presider or Celebrant, he still acts in the Person of Christ and the Mass is valid unless they do something really off the wall. Maybe the above saying should be posted in all sacristies in Latin as well as the vernacular.
    Since Mater Ecclesiae is celebrating the Forty Hours Devotion, are they using the Manual of the Forty Hours Devotion written by Philadelphia Bishop, Saint John Neumann, C.SS.R. in 1853, slightly modified by Baltimore Archbishop Kendrick in 1857, with the approval of Pope Pius IX and extended to all U.S. Dioceses in 1868?

  6. Joe says:

    Steve, I’ve seen that sign posted in the sacristy of every Chapel of the Missionaries of Charity I’ve ever been in. I’ll tell you, the way those Sisters pray at Mass is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see, and it’s always been OF.

  7. William A. Torchia, Esquire says:

    Dear Father Z:

    On behalf of the Latin Liturgy Association of Philadelphia, we thank you for coming to our parish.

    I had the privilege of attending your Mass on Saturday. You appear to be a very holy priest, and said Mass with great devotion. Your sermon was very moving and inspiring.

    If you are ever in Philadelphia and need anything, please contact us.

    William A. Torchia, Esq., Vice Chairman, LLA of Philadelphia
    118 S. 21st Street, Suite 615
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
    (H) 215-977-8383 (no voicemail)
    (C) 215-200-1957 (voicemail)
    (W) 215-546-1950 (voicemail)

  8. dymphna says:

    Looks like a funeral parlor or my local Scottish Rite temple on the outside.

  9. dcs says:

    Looks like a funeral parlor or my local Scottish Rite temple on the outside.

    You mean apart from the steeple and the statue of Our Lady?