Quarant' Ore at Blackfen 21-23 October

One of my responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Southwark is to be the Dean of Bexley (Vicarius Foraneus). Whenever I think of this title, I wonder whether I should get a horse and ride around the Deanery in a frock coat or something. We have recently completed a Year of Mission for the Deanery during which we tried, with some measure of success, to increase communication and co-operation between the different parishes for events of a spiritual, charitable or social nature. One of the contributions of Blackfen was to hold the Forty Hours devotion for the first time in living memory. It was such a success that we have decided to make it a yearly fixture.

So from Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 October, the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary at Blackfen will be holding the Quarant' Ore devotion of forty hours uninterrupted exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The devotion will begin with the sung Mass of Exposition (usus antiquior) at 8pm on the Thursday. There will be Mass in English, in the Novus Ordo on Friday at 10am, and then an usus antiquior sung Mass for Peace at 8pm. The closing Mass and procession will be on the Saturday at 10.30am in the usus antiquior.

Everybody is, of course, welcome. If you are able to commit to being here for an hour, please leave a note in the comments box or email me, especially if you are able to be there for one of the night hours. The Knights of St Columba and the Youth Group are covering much of the two nights but it is always good to have as many people as possible during the wee small hours.

If you have never had the Forty Hours in your parish, I really do recommend it. To have Our Lord exposed in the monstrance for this extended period is a powerful blessing for the parish. The Good Lord radiates his power and mercy beyond the confines of the Church, and those who are present, especially if they have made a sacrifice to be there, receive graces that they do not necessarily expect. It was telling that many people said to me last year that they felt a sense of sadness at the closing Mass when Our Lord was returned to the tabernacle.

If you want to come and join us at any time of your convenience, you will be very welcome. Blackfen is a hospitable parish and there is always tea and coffee in the Hall, good company and conversation when you take a break from watching, and probably some breakfast in the morning.

Here are some posts relating to last year's Quarant' Ore:

Quarant' Ore and the Pope of Christian Unity
Quarant' Ore second night
Quarant' Ore and longing for heaven

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