The blessing of the Forty Hours

Our Forty Hours finished this morning with 10.30am Mass coram sanctissimo. It is a great blessing to be able to have such a devotion in the parish. People are generous in giving their time, day and night, to come and watch before Our Lord, and I have not doubt they will receive many blessings from Him. It is good for the priest too, to be there on the sanctuary as a priest (with cotta and white stole) praying together with his people, "a member of each family yet belonging to none."

I think that Our Lord works powerfully through this devotion, as though the illumination of His presence goes beyond those who come and watch, and passes through closed doors throughout the parish. Perhaps a marriage will be saved, or a man converted, or some discord settled. We do not know how Christ will use the little that we offer Him.

On a more mundane note, we have now more or less got the candle drill sorted. The thinnest candles, those in the Benediction candelabra, last about seven hours, though draughts and changes of temperature (last night was only just above freezing outside) can make some of them misbehave. The photo above is from a previous year - some of the candles were too close to each other and couldn't stand the heat. This year we reduced to a modest thirty candles and they mostly burned politely.

It has been a busy few weeks, liturgy-wise. The anniversary of the consecration of the Church is on 2 October, and the feast day on 7 October. With the Quarant' Ore Masses and tomorrow being Sunday, that will mean four Missae Cantatae in as many days. Next week will be the same, with All Saints, All Souls, the visiting schola on Saturday and the normal parish Mass on Sunday. I have booked a couple of days off after that and I'm beginning to feel that I will need it. Next year, I think we'll move the Forty Hours to early summer.

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