Gather as a Community before the Blessed Sacrament
The Forty Hours Eucharistic Devotion holds a special place in the spiritual life of the Diocese of Harrisburg and is an opportunity to gather as a community before the Blessed Sacrament and to pray before the Lord in solemn adoration. It gives us time to deepen our appreciation of the importance of the mystery of the Eucharist in our lives.
Sacred Origins The exact origin of the Forty Hours Devotion is not completely known. The first clear attestation for its celebration comes from Milan in 1527. In its inception it was celebrated as reparation for the sins of the community and was motivated to offer prayers to God for protection during the crisis of war. The practice of celebrating Forty Hours Devotion spread rapidly from this point. “Forty: is a significant number. Noah was on the ark for forty days. The Israelites spent forty years in the desert. Jesus fasted for forty days, and it could be said that Jesus lay in the tomb for approximately forty hours from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.
In Rome, this period of forty hours of Solemn Exposition of the Eucharist was scheduled so that the forty hours devotion in each church formed a continuous time of adoration from church to church. Saint John Neumann was profoundly influenced by this devotion while growing up in Bavaria and strongly promoted it in the United States (culled from the Diocese of Harrisburg website).
At St. Peter parish, we are excited to have the Solemn Exposition of the Eucharist for three days in our parish. Forty Hours Adoration will sacramentally fulfill the promise Jesus made to his disciples in our Church; Jesus will come and make his dwelling among us. His presence will invite and trigger worship and devotion. It will be a time of peace. For us, it will be a “coming down out of heaven from God” event (Rev 21:10). Heaven will be present in our midst in these days of Adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist. What a gift!
Please make sure you attend the evening service and benediction this Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, beginning at 7 PM each day. Fr. Josh Cavender, a son of the parish, will inspire us to a more profound love for Jesus in his reflections based on John’s Gospel. Do not miss out on this opportunity to grow in your love for Jesus. Come to be nourished in grace to live a virtuous life.