Forty Hours Devotion Offered at Immaculate Conception in Omaha

The clergy and laity of Immaculate Conception, our parish in Omaha, Nebraska, recently rendered an act of special adoration to Our Lord with the Forty Hours Devotion. Fr. John Brancich, FSSP, pastor, Fr. Terrence Gordon, FSSP, assistant pastor, and Rev. Mr. Paul Leung, FSSP, one of our newly ordained deacons, led the Forty Hours Masses and adoration.

This traditional act of devotion and piety can be offered in a single parish or series of parishes where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and adored for a consecutive forty hours.  When offered as a series, as the Forty Hours ends in one church, a Forty Hours commences in another church. This devotion developed in Milan in 1537, and spread quickly in Italy. In an interesting fact of history for the Fraternity, by the year 1550 St. Philip Neri had begun to offer the Forty Hours devotion for the Confraternity of Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini, our parish in Rome. Three Masses are typically offered during the Forty Hours: a solemn Mass of Exposition begins the devotion, a solemn Mass for Peace is offered during the second day, and the devotion concludes with a Mass of Deposition.

A good explanation of the purpose of the Forty Hours is offered by Pope Paul III in granting his approval of the devotion, and its first indulgence:

“Since … Our beloved son the Vicar General of the Archbishop of Milan at the prayer of the inhabitants of the said city, in order to appease the anger of God provoked by the offenses of Christians, and in order to bring to naught the efforts and machinations of the Turks who are pressing forward to the destruction of Christendom, amongst other pious practices, has established a round of prayers and supplications to be offered both by day and night by all the faithful of Christ, before our Lord’s Most Sacred Body, in all the churches of the said city, in such a manner that these prayers and supplications are made by the faithful themselves relieving each other in relays for forty hours continuously in each church in succession, according to the order determined by the Vicar … We, approving in our Lord so pious an institution, and confirming the same by Our authority, grant and remit…”

Enjoy a gallery of pictures from the Forty Hours in Omaha.

April 24, 2013