For the third year, Pope Francis has asked that parishes organise a special time for Prayer and Confessions during the Season of Lent. He has suggested that parishes organise 24 hours for the Lord on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March. Lent has traditionally been known as a time for fasting, a time to tame one’s body so that we may concentrate on higher things. The three spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving go hand in hand and the Church invites us to practise all three at this special time of year. Pope Francis reminds us that our fasting must never become superficial and he reminds us that Lent is a good time for penance and self denial and our Lenten activities must enrich others. He also challenges us by saying that if we’re going to fast from anything, we must fast from indifference towards others. As part of our special 24 hours, we might challenge ourselves to fast from something for those hours as a special offering to the Lord!
The 24 hours for the Lord will take place in Armagh Parish in St Malachy’s Church from 7pm on the Friday to 7am on the Saturday and in St Patrick’s Cathedral from 7am – 7pm on the Saturday. The 24 hours will begin with Mass being celebrated by Archbishop Martin at 7pm in St Malachy’s Church on the Friday evening (note earlier time) and it will conclude with the 7pm Vigil Mass being celebrated in St Patrick’s Cathedral on the Saturday evening. During the 24 hours, there will be special times of prayer and reflection. There will also be opportunities for Confessions during the 24 hours and people are encouraged to make a special effort in this season of Lent and in this Year of Mercy to celebrate the love and mercy of God.
Programme for the 24 hours for the Lord
Friday 4 March (St Malachy’s Church)
7pm Mass, 10pm Night Prayer, 12 midnight Rosary
Saturday 5 March (St Patrick’s Cathedral)
7am Morning Prayer, 10am Mass, 11am Walk of Mercy, 12noon Midday Prayer, 3pm Way of the Cross, 6.30pm Evening Prayer & Benediction, 7pm Mass
From after Mass on the Friday evening to 7am on the Saturday morning, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in St Malachy’s Church and from 7am on the Saturday morning to 7pm on the Saturday evening, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in St Patrick’s Cathedral. The Adoration Room in St Malachy’s Church will be closed during these 24 hours! Confessions will also be heard from after Mass on the Friday evening in St Malachy’s Church until 10pm and on the Saturday in St Patrick’s Cathedral from 11am – 3pm.
Carlingford & Omeath Parish
Fri 4th – Sat 5th March in St. Michael’s Church, Carlingford
All parishioners are encouraged to accept Pope Francis’ invitation to make a special effort to visit the church and spend some time in the presence of God and avail of the Sacrament of Penance and experience God’s healing and grace.
To ensure that there will always be someone praying in the church during this 24 hour Vigil you are invited to nominate a prayer hour on the list available in the church today.
The night hours 1am – 3am have been allocated to Omeath and 3am – 5am to Carlingford.
The Parish Pastoral Council has organised the following key events:
Friday 8.00pm Communal Penance Service with Individual Confession and Absolution
12.00 Midnight Mass
Saturday 9.00am Morning Prayer from the Divine Office
11.00am Stations of the Cross
2.00pm Children’s Hour
3.00pm Divine Mercy Chaplet
5.00pm Healing Hour with Sacrament of the Sick
Dumcree Parish, Portadown
24 hours of Adoration will be held in St. John the Baptist Church beginning at 7.30 pm on Fri. 4th March and concluding at
6.45 p.m. on Sat. 5th March. During the night period 12 midnight to 6 a.m. Lauds will be recited and at other significant times themed meditations on the Year of Mercy. All other times will be devoted to silent adoration with the exception of the hours beginning 11 p.m., 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. when there will be a short 5 minute period of vocal prayer (Psalms and Invocations).
At 3 p.m. the Fatima Rosary Group will lead the Rosary. Parish- ioners may indicate on the sheets provided the hour they wish to attend. There will be no Adoration on Thursday 3 March.
ST PETER’S PARISH, DROGHEDA
24 Hours for the Lord will take place in St. Peter’s Church on Friday and Saturday of next week, 4th/5th March. Parishioners and friends will be welcome at any time over those days in St. Peter’s Church to take part in Pope Francis’ worldwide initiative. Please note that for this month only, the first Friday Mass which is normally celebrated in Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 7.30pm will be celebrated in St. Peter’s Church at 7.30pm on Friday as part of 24 Hours for the Lord. The Divine Mercy Chaplet will be recited after this Mass, followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Those undertaking the all-night vigil may wish to wait for 6am Mass on the Saturday morning; tea/coffee will be available during the night.