Sunday School: Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
May29

Sunday School: Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle...

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From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part II
May29

From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part II

40 Hours of Adoration-Part II A Roman Tradition  About 1550, St. Philip Neri introduced the Forty Hours devotion in Rome, and in 1592 Pope Clement VIII became the first pope to give formal recognition to the devotion with his papal decree Graves et diuturnae . Pope Clement’s intention was to use the 40 hours to pray for God’s aid in protecting the Church against all dangers, both internal and external. He also intended the observance to be continuous: “We have determined to establish publicly in this Mother City of Rome an uninterrupted course of prayer in such wise that in the different churches … on appointed days, there be observed the pious and salutary devotion of the Forty Hours, with such an arrangement of churches and times that, at every hour of the day and night, th e whole year round the incense of prayer shall ascend without intermission before the face of the Lord.” The Vatican instructions or rubrics associated with the Forty Hours were issued by Pope Clement XI in 1705 and later in that century revised by Pope Clement XII. These rubrics, known as the Clementine Instructions, provide, with great solemnity, minute details for conducting the devotion and are mostly still followed today during exposure, benediction and reposition of the Blessed Sacrament. All the instructions are designed to focus attention on the sacredness of the Sacrament. For centuries there was little doubt when the devotion was taking place, as a picture or banner depicting the Blessed Sacrament was hung on the church door, the church bells were rung every hour and the Sacrament was surrounded with at least 20 lit candles. While the Clementine Instructions were binding only on the churches in the city of Rome, they were quickly adopted throughout the rest of the world. In 1853, St. John Neumann, fourth bishop of Philadelphia, introduced Forty Hours as a diocesanwide devotion in the United States.   With Greatest Possible Solemnity  At one time all Catholic parishes were obligated to conduct this popular devotion. The 1917 Code of Canon Law prescribed that the Eucharist be annually exposed for 40 hours of adoration, “with greatest possible solemnity,” in all places where the Blessed Sacrament was normally reserved and on dates determined by the local bishop. Today, except in churches where there is Perpetual Adoration, such annual periods of Eucharistic exposure are less common and only “recommended” by the Code of Canon Law that was promulgated in 1983. Guidance from the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments, in the document Eucharistiae Sacramentum , issued in 1973, states that the local bishop can approve extended adoration...

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Sunday School: The Most Holy Trinity
May25

Sunday School: The Most Holy Trinity

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-The Most Holy Trinity Cycle B

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From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part I
May25

From the Rector: 40 Hours of Adoration-Part I

40 Hours of Adoration-Part I For over 500 years one of the most beautiful of all Catholic devotions has been the one known as Quarant Ore, or Forty Hours. The Blessed Sacrament is solemnly exposed for 40 hours outside the tabernacle and continuously adored by the faithful. In past centuries, especially in the late Middle Ages, people turned to the Blessed Sacrament, the Body and Blood of Christ, during times of crisis. Bishops frequently ordered exposition of the Sacrament for “serious and general need.” The faithful would come in shifts before the Sacrament seeking God’s intercession during events threatening the local community, such as war, epidemics, drought or famine. Calamities faced in our own era, such as terrorist attacks, the Iraq war and natural disasters, would have likely resulted in Forty Hours of prayer. In recent centuries, devotion before the exposed Sacrament has become less a community prayer for intercession in times of darkness (although certainly such times are not excluded) and more an individual time to make reparations for sin or offer thanksgiving, or perhaps general adoration or contemplating the majesty of Our Lord. Milanese Beginnings  There is evidence that 12th-century Christians prayed a 40-hour vigil before the tabernacle during the Easter Triduum. Whether or not the Blessed Sacrament was exposed as part of those early Holy Week devotions is unclear. During the 12th and 13th centuries Christian worship increasingly accentuated the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist; this was in large measure a response to various groups who condemned this belief. The faithful sought to acclaim publicly their convictions about the Real Presence, and processing the Blessed Sacrament through city streets, such as on Corpus Christi Sunday, became popular. Also, this era introduced the custom of elevating the Host at the consecration during Mass for the faithful to adore. Over the next 200 years, the concept of combining public exposure of the Blessed Sacrament with 40 hours of prayer evolved. During the 1520s and ’30s, in the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy, this prayer devotion was extended beyond Holy W eek and often added to Pentecost, the feast of the Assumption and at Christmas. About 1529, an invading army confronted Milan; the faithful were called to 40 hours of prayer and soon thereafter the threat subsided. Almost simultaneously a fever or plague struck the city and again the people sought God’s intercession through 40 hours of prayer. At the prompting of a Capuchin priest, Joseph of Fermo, the devotion was conducted on a continuous basis, rotating between Milanese churches. It was at this time that the Eucharist was taken outside the tabernacle and placed on church altars throughout the 40...

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Sunday School: Pentecost Sunday
May18

Sunday School: Pentecost Sunday

Sunday School To print or view the Sunday School page, click on the link below: Sunday School-Pentecost Sunday Cycle B

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