Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Forty Hours

In my last parish, I came across the Forty Hours for the first time. That was in 1995. At St Wilfrid`s, Gateshead they had just kept it going while it had died out in other parishes. It was always a very special time in the parish year and even though the congregation was not large and mostly elderly there was great enthusiasm to keep it going. I offered to stop at midnight and start again at 8am but volunteers always came forward to ensure that there was watching through the night, both nights. I understand that my successor as parish priest, Fr Dixon, has kept it going.

I went to St Wilfrid`s in the week to borrow their candle stands as we are having the Forty hours here at St Mary`s this year. I didn`t think there would be enough interest to fill all the watching slots but most of them have been accounted for. Again I am very pleased that people have volunteered for the night-watching. So we start tonight at 6pm and will continue through to 10am Mass on Tuesday morning. I`m hoping it will help deepen our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and that it will become an annual event ( even if we need to borrow the stands from St Wilfrid`s every year).

Here`s a picture of the altar as it was set up this morning after Mass.


Anonymous said...

I do believe that the Rosminian Fathers at Ely Place brought (back) this devotion to England and I also was a small part of their revival of it (no doubt since lost in clerical moves). May God bless you as He surely will.

Anonymous said...

Well done Father for bringing back this devotion in your parish. I'm not one of your parishioners but i'm not too far away and will definitely be making the effort to drop in to spend some time praying to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. There is no better way to spend one's time on this earth, and i only wish there were more opportunities to do so. God will surely bless you and your parish for this initiative.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Anonymous, if you call during the night you may need to knock hard at the door as the watchers may have bolted it. However you should be heard.