XL Hours Devotion at OLMCA

Our Lord in the golden sun

From Friday February 24th to Sunday February 26th, the XL hours devotion will take place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy. Make sure to kneel in the front of your God and Saviour as Lent starts!


Friday February 24th: 5:30pm Sung Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament.  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Procession. Litanies of the Saints.  Continuous adoration until 12 noon Sunday.

Saturday February 25th: 8am Low Votive Mass for Peace. 

Sunday February 26th: Sung Mass of First Sunday of Lent before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed (no sermon).  Immediately following Mass, Litanies of the Saints, Procession, Benediction and Reposition.

For most of the forty hours, a priest will be on hand to hear confessions and the cafeteria will be open for tea-breaks.  Please bring your own food.

Pancake Breakfast

A pancake breakfast fundraiser will be hosted at the Academy by the Grade 12 Class to fund their Rome trip.


Brief explanation of the XL hours

In the diocese of Milan, around the year 1537, the various churches of the city began having continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by relays of forty hours in one church followed by another.  The purpose was to appease the anger of God aroused by the sins of Christians and to seek the defeat of the Muslims who were then seeking to conquer Christendom.  The time period of forty hours was particularly in honour of the forty hours that Our Lord’s Body lay in the sepulchre.  About 1550, Sts. Philip Neri and Ignatius Loyola began encouraging the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for forty hours just before Ash Wednesday, during the Carnival when many public sins were committed.  For this occasion, the petition “From imminent peril, Lord deliver us” was added to the Litany of the Saints.

The exact form of the devotion was set down by Pope Clement XII in 1731.  This is known as the “Clementine Instruction” and is also the reference for ritual of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  According to this, after a Solemn Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament, the Sacred Host is exposed on the main altar and the Litany of the Saints are to be sung.  Everything must be done to promote recollection and silence, relays of watchers must pray continuously.   On the second day, a Votive Mass for Peace should be celebrated at another altar.  On the final day, a Solemn Mass should again be celebrated and the Litanies sung.

For us, this will be an excellent way to begin Lent in a spirit of deep prayer and watching.  Please take the time to come and watch and pray.


A plenary indulgence applicable to the Souls in Purgatory may be gained once a day by those who recite the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father five times in a church where the XL Hours Devotion is in progress and who say an additional Pater, Ave and Gloria for the intentions of the Pope.  Usual conditions of Confession, Communion and detachment from sin apply.  A partial indulgence can be gained for each visit.