The annual Forty Hours Devotion (continuous Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament) took place at the Cathedral this past weekend, starting at 6.00pm on Friday 9 June and continuing until 8.45am on Sunday 11 June.
Many members of the Cathedral congregation signed up to keep watch during the Exposition and to ensure that the Blessed Sacrament Chapel was not left unattended. Between 10pm and 7am on both Friday and Saturday night the Cathedral was closed for safety and only those volunteers who had signed up were present in the church.
On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi celebrated on Sunday 11 June, at the end of the 10.30am Mass at the Holy Rosary and the 11am Mass at the Cathedral there was a short period of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament followed by Benediction.
Thanks to the generosity of the volunteers who gave of their time, both day and night, the Cathedral was able to maintain its long-standing tradition of the Forty Hours Devotion in the days before the celebration of Corpus Christi. The numbers who came to pray before the Blessed Sacrament during this time speaks of their own devotion and the strength we receive from Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honoured with the worship of adoration.
In this context the Catechism also quotes Pope St Paul VI: ‘To visit the Blessed Sacrament is a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord’.