At Mater Ecclesiae in Berlin, NJ the Forty Hours Devotion is being observed with the older books and rites.
Tonight Forty Hours began with a Sung Mass followed by Exposition, a Procession, the Litanies and now… adoration.
Fr. Pasley had the Mass and the undersigned delivered the first sermon.
I was very impressed with the competence of the servers. They were precise without being fussy or mechanical. They were comfortable with their roles which allowed them to "get themselves out of the way" and not obscure the Sacred Actor.
The music was Gregorian Chant. A schola sang the Propers. The congregation here responds and sings where appropriate.
In my sermon I reminded people that Forty Hours is not just for strengthening our devotion in the Blessed Sacrament, or for simple adoration. Forty Hours is also tied to our most urgent needs and problems of our day.
It is also a powerful prayer asking God to intervene and help us, even save us, in time of peril.
Forty Hours comes from the deep urgings of the Catholic people to pray before Christ, the Incarnate Word still with us in the Blessed Sacrament, in time of famine, upheaval, disease, war, threat of invasion or disaster.
This is a time to bring our problems before the Lord and allow Him to continue to serve us as He did in His earthly life and does in our daily lives in so many ways. He is God in His divinity and He still is here for us if we come to Him… who remains humble of heart.
Our days today are not really so different from those in which Forty Hours began to take shape in the more modern sense.
This is a devotion we truly need today.
I will have the Mass tomorrow evening to anticipate the Sunday and I will have the High Mass on Sunday for the closing of Forty Hours. The closing Mass of Forty Hours is one of the times Mass is to be said in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament Exposed, coram Sanctissimo which I haven’t ever done. This should be a good experience.
In the meantime…. the people are at prayer here in the night.
Will you unite from afar your prayers for our cities, countries, world.
After all, you can ask your angels to be present and where there is charity there are no distances.