What is the 40 Hours?

Categories: Questions of Faith

The 40 Hours is a special 40-hour period of continuous prayer made before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance for adoration. The focus of this devotion is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist: ‘I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh for the life of the world’ (John 6:51).

Why 40 Hours?

The number 40 signifies a sacred period of time: Noah’s flood lasted 40 days and nights; the Jews wandered through the desert for 40 years; the Lord Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days before beginning His public ministry; and tradition tells us that He was in the tomb for 40 hours before his Resurrection.

How should I pray during the 40 Hours?

The Lord Jesus calls us to him to adore Him in silence. Just come to Him as you are and offer Him your thoughts, desires, thanks and sorrows. You are the person He is anxious to speak with.


Author: Fr Andrew