Parish-Wide Holy Hours

Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash

Many people have found that Eucharistic Adoration has transformed their lives. I know this was true for me when I spent every Friday afternoon from 2 to 3pm in the Adoration Chapel for three years. I know my parish is different now that we have at least one hour of Adoration six days a week (even Sundays). We’ve seen whole Dioceses transformed by Perpetual Adoration Chapels throughout.

Because of this, I recommend to almost all of my Parish Vision Plan parishes to increase the hours they have of adoration as well as the number of committed adorers. We can’t help but be changed by an hour with the Lord.

But how do you do this? I know you can’t just ‘start having Perpetual Adoration 24/7 tomorrow’ (although a parish I belonged to did start with less than a month of lead time a few years ago). You can start with one holy hour a month, a week, or even a day.

How?

One of my parishes in Virginia started with an hour on Tuesday evenings during Advent. They encouraged parishioners to spend some quiet time with the Lord amidst the hustle and bustle of December, and people responded. The next year they added a day, an additional evening Mass, and confessions during that time.

Some of the weeks included a reflection, others some simple music, while others were just quiet time with Jesus.

When?

Well, Lent is coming soon (I know, Christmas feels like yesterday, but March 6th is just around the corner). Why not start then?

What if your parish had a holy hour preceding or immediately after Stations of the Cross on Fridays. You could even turn it into a young adult event with fellowship at a local bar afterward.

What if your parish had a holy hour before or after one of your daily Masses? Or if you have two daily Masses between them?

Why?

It’s transformational. I love these reasons from two powerhouse saints!

“I beg you to show the greatest possible reverence for the Eucharist through whom all things have been brought to peace and reconciled with Almighty God.” One day a rather worldly friend asked St. Francis: “Father what do you do during those long hours before the Blessed Sacrament?” “My son in return I ask you what does the poor man do at the rich man’s door, the sick man in presence of his physician, the thirsty man at a limpid stream? What they do, I do before the Eucharistic God. I pray. I adore. I love. “Let us love God and adore him and offer him praises by day and by night. In this world I cannot see the Most High Son of God with my own eyes, except for His Most Holy Body and Blood.”

St. Francis of Assisi, source

It is said that we will be remembered by the company we keep. St. Thomas recognized this when he said, “The things we love tell us who we are.” Are we to busy to commit to a special specific hour each week with Jesus, who has done everything for us? One thing is for sure – if we faithfully attend Eucharistic Adoration Jesus will recognize and remember us as one of his faithful disciples at our death. St. Thomas use to spend many hours in adoration before our beloved Lord. He once said that he learned more from prayer before the Blessed Sacrament than from many hours of study. “No other sacrament (except the Holy Eucharist) has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, source

I’m a regular reader of the Blessed is She devotions and this reflection on adoration spoke to me.

When I visit Jesus in Adoration—even when the seats around me are filled with others in those precious moments—I feel that it is just us two. I am looking at Him and He is looking at me.

Christina M. Sorrentino, reflection

The Time is Now!

There are some great tips in this article from the OSV Newsweekly to help you along the way.

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