Divine Worship


Preparation for the Celebration of Forty Hours Devotion - Practical Issues

Forty Hours Devotion

  • Create a committee for planning purposes
  • Get a copy of Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist
    • May be ordered from
      • The Liturgical Press www.litpress.org or call 1-800-858-5450
      • ISBN number 0-8146-2039-6
      • Cost -- $39.95
  • Determine the exact order you will use for celebrating the Forty Hours Devotion
    • It should begin with Mass
      • choose a day and time that many parishioners may attend
      • Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist gives the necessary details for how to begin solemn exposition at the end of Mass.
      • The host to be used for solemn exposition should be consecrated at the Mass which precedes the beginning of such exposition.
    • Determine the times that public prayer will occur. “During the exposition there should be prayers, songs, and readings to direct the attention of the faithful to the worship of Christ the Lord.” (OSEHE # 15); In other words the time of adoration is not intended to be only a time of silent meditation.
      • Possible prayer services:
        • The Liturgy of Hours – particularly Morning and Evening Prayer; it is possible to download from http://www.liturgyhours.org copies of each celebration of the liturgy of the hours. It is set up by day/date and prayer hour. It prints out in booklet format ready to be copied.

The Celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours may be led by a layperson if a priest or deacon is not in attendance.

It would be most appropriate to preach during this time on the eucharist.

      • Liturgy of the Word – some examples are in Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist.
      • A public recitation of the Rosary. “Given the close relationship between Christ and Our Lady, the Rosary can always be of assistance in giving prayer a Christological orientation, since it contains meditation of the Incarnation and the Redemption.” (Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy no. 165). Other devotions though should be discouraged.
    • The time of solemn adoration should end with Mass again at a day and time when many parishioners may attend. Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist gives the necessary details for how to end solemn exposition as part of Mass.
  • Issues
    • During this time if Mass must be celebrated then the Blessed Sacrament must be reposed. Mass may not be celebrated while the Eucharist is exposed.
    • Signs of Reverence to the Blessed Sacrament
      • Genuflection on one knee
      • Four to six candles are lit during the exposition as at Mass
    • It is important to ensure during the times that the Blessed Sacrament is exposed that there be people praying there. As a guideline there should be at least two people at all times with the exposed Blessed Sacrament.
    • There should be a sign up sheet for the people who will volunteer to remain before the Blessed Sacrament at particular hours
    • The homilies during Mass should be centered on the Eucharist.
    • Announce to the people the various public prayer times for the people to attend; print out a one page sheet with times and type of service
    • Music should be a part of these celebrations if at all possible
    • If there are times that people cannot be in attendance the Blessed Sacrament may be reposed.
  • A possible structure for a Forty Hours Devotion (only meant as an example)
    • 7:00 P.M. Thursday Mass
    • 8:00 P.M. – 7:00 A.M. (If sufficient people are in attendance proclamation of scripture may occur)
    • 7:00 A.M. Friday Morning Prayer
    • 11:00 A.M. Friday Daytime Prayer
    • 3:00 P.M. Friday Scripture Service (possibly Office of Readings)
    • 5:00 P.M. Friday Rosary
    • 7:00 P.M. Friday Evening Prayer
    • 8:00 P.M. – 9:00 A.M. (If sufficient people are in attendance proclamation of scripture may occur)
    • 9:00 A.M. Saturday Morning Prayer
    • 11:00 A.M. Saturday Rosary
    • 1:00 P.M. Saturday Daytime Prayer
    • 3:00 P.M. Saturday Scripture Service
    • Saturday Vigil Mass closes out Forty Hours Devotion
    • Saturday After Mass social celebration

Any questions please contact Reverend Brian Mahoney, Director of the Office for Worship, at 617-746-5580.