Thursday, 14 June 2007

The Quarant'Ore

This year's Forty Hours devotion, often known by its Italian name as Quarant'Ore, began last evening with a Mass and procession celebrated by Bishop Hopes.

The Cathedral is open day and night during this period for devotion before the Blessed Sacrament. The Holy Father especially commended this practice in his recent letter on the Eucharist Sacramentum Caritatis. There he said that worship is a natural response to our reception of the Eucharist. Pope Benedict quotes Saint Augustine: “no one eats that flesh without first adoring it; we should sin were we not to adore it." The very act of receiving the Eucharist means adoring Him whom we receive; so our adoration will enhance our reception of, and understanding of, this precious gift.

Celebrating matins at 3.00am this morning, when the above image was taken, was a deeply prayerful experience. About 30 people were present in the Cathedral, and the atmosphere of our prayers and chants rising into the silence of the night, before the Lord present with us in that stillness, was extremely powerful.


Andrew said...

It's wonderful that Westminster Cathedral is still keeping these Eucharistic devotions alive.

The throne or monstance stand really served to focus one's attention on the Blessed Sacrament. Is the monstance new? Because I thought that all the old ones would have a sunburst design.

Anonymous said...

Dear Blogger,
Please would you pass on my thanks to the Cardinal for yesterday's Mass and procession for the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The procession was completely undexpected to me and seemed like a gift from God. I was unable to attend the Corpus Christi procession in my own Diocese this year, so it was doubly welcome. Wonderful to follow the Blessed Sacrament and the Cardinal around the streets, singing such well loved hymns. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

A big "thank you" for again arranging the "40 hours".

However, I feel that it was not advertised sufficiently - I did not know of it until the Monday when I read about it in the newsletter and picked up the flyer. I did not get the previous week's newsletter so do not know whether it was mentioned in that, but it would have been most useful if the flyers had been available during the previous week.

I'm sure many blessings and benefits were showered on all those present. Again, thank you!

Anonymous said...

I always think one of the glories of the Cathedral are the High Altar frontals. These do not feature often in the blog. I have counted 13 different ones that are used throughout the liturgical year. I had not seen the one used during the 40 hours devotion before. Is it new? What does the crest signify?