We need Forty Hours Devotion! Please, Fathers and Bishops!

I long for the return of the Forty Hours Devotion, Quarant’ore.    This devotion developed in time of necessity.  It is not a kind of long Corpus Christi.  It is not a long Holy Thursday.  It grew up to beg God for relief and protection from plague and invasion and other calamities.

We need it today. more than ever.

Once, dioceses had Forty Hours going on somewhere every week.   The year’s schedule for the churches where Forty Hours would be was even published in secular papers.   The clergy would invite each other to participate and priests would come to pray and then to spend time together afterwards… serious and good clericalism!  The final Mass was – and under the Clementine Instruction which is in play under Summorum Pontificum – – still is celebrated coram Sanctissimo!

In London, Brompton Oratory had its Forty Hours Devotion.  Here is a brief video showing something of the ceremony.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. padredana says:

    I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree. However, those of us who labor in rural areas of the vineyard do not enough faithful people to have 4 hours of Exposition let alone 40 hours. It is so sad and discouraging to see people prioritize sporting events, TV, or God knows what else over spending time with Our Blessed Lord. We must pray for a return to belief in the power of devotions like 40 Hours devotions. The lack of faith among the “faithful” is staggering. Bugnini and his minions did much damage! As our Lady said at Fatima, we must “pray the rosary every day!”

  2. JustaSinner says:

    You are SO taking me back to my youth, Father!

  3. BrionyB says:

    The Oratory certainly know how to do ceremony, very impressive! I would have tried to go along if I’d known about this at the time.

    Does anyone know what the choir were singing during the procession (before the Pange Lingua)? Just curious as it sounded quite different from the usual style.

  4. APX says:

    If this was the start of Mass, it could have been the Introit.

  5. L. says:

    I think that having the Forty Hours Devotion at our parish would require, as a predicate event, the miracle of pigs flying over the church.

  6. JARay says:

    Fantastic…but then…that’s London.

  7. msc says:

    I love the oratory, of course. But mention of it makes the consider the OF and EF and how they are executed. The last time I was there I attended a solemn OF Mass, in Latin. It was not the EF. It was, as it has been before, with choir and good music, a deeply moving experience. Everything was reverent. I would crawl a long way to get to such a Mass. The EF that is sometimes offered in my diocese is, on the other hand, a frustrating experience: a priest that mumbles and makes it hard even for me, with thirty-five years of teaching Latin behind me and strong familiarity with the Mass, to follow and a choir of four that is simply not up to the job. I leave that Mass feeling like I’ve met my obligation, but not that my soul has been fed. Churches like the Oratory show that the OF can be wonderful.

  8. stuart reiss says:

    It’s the ‘Lauda Sion Salvatorem’ the Corpus Christi sequence. Which flows into ‘Pange Lingua’ and then ‘Tantum Ergo’. Each year the Quarant Ore devotion happens from Tuesday to Thursday after Laetare Sunday, at the London Oratory. Father Z is right, we do need more of it everywhere.

  9. BrionyB says:

    @stuart reiss – Thank you! Good to know it’s an annual event at the Oratory; I hope to make it next year.

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