Wednesday, 8 March 2017

24 Hours for the Lord

 The purpose of this article is to provide information on 24 Hours for the Lord and links concerning the event, along with official resources for the year (if/when it is made available).

24 Hours for the Lord is an initiative of the Pontifical Council for the Promoting of the New Evangelization encouraged by Pope Francis since 2014 to be held annually in every diocese in the world on the Friday/Saturday preceding the Fourth Sunday of Lent. It is to involve 24 consecutive hours of Adoration of the exposed Blessed Sacrament, in accompaniment with extended periods -ideally 24hrs- of the Sacrament of Confession (Reconciliation) being made available.

This article is updated each year with the relevant information as it is made available. Specific information for this year's (2018's) event is below, scroll down for further general information.

24 Hours for the Lord this Year: 2018

In Pope Francis' 2018 Lenten message delivered at the commencement of the liturgical year (link), he affirms that this event will be taking place once again, has it has since 2014:

One such moment of grace will be, again this year, the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, which invites the entire Church community to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic adoration. In 2018, inspired by the words of Psalm 130:4, “With you is forgiveness”, this will take place from Friday, 9 March to Saturday, 10 March. In each diocese, at least one church will remain open for twenty-four consecutive hours, offering an opportunity for both Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession. (1st Nov, 2017)

 This year's Scriptural theme: “With you is forgiveness” (Psalm 130:4)

This year's resources: click here

General Official Information on the Event

Official information for the holding of the "24 Hours of the Lord" is found bellow, drawing from two documents by Pope Francis.

Misericordiae Vultus, Bull of Indication of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy,
(11 April, 2015).

The initiative of “24 Hours for the Lord,” to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week of Lent, should be implemented in every diocese. So many people, including young people, are returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; through this experience they are rediscovering a path back to the Lord, living a moment of intense prayer and finding meaning in their lives. Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands. For every penitent, it will be a source of true interior peace.

Misericordia et misera, Apostolic Letter, 20 Nov, 2016.

A favourable occasion for this [Sacrament of Reconciliation] could be the 24 Hours for the Lord, a celebration held in proximity to the Fourth Sunday of Lent. This initiative, already in place in many dioceses, has great pastoral value in encouraging a more fervent experience of the sacrament of Confession.

The above is written at the end of 2016 ('The Year of Mercy'), and makes the assumption that the 24 Hours for the Lord is and will be a continuing event.

I haven't come across an explicit mention of the annual nature of the 24 Hour for the Lord either by Pope Francis, or the Pontifical Council for the Promoting of the New Evangelization, as such. Yet the above reference in Misericordia et misera is satisfactory for manifesting the intention that this event is to be annual, yet even more clear than this is the continued call of Pope Francis year after year, including in 2018, that the 24 Hours for the Lord ought to be carried out in at least one church in each diocese.
Nothing more need be said but it isn't hard to find all over the internet that the 24 Hours for the Lord was intended to be an annual event from the beginning. For example, the official website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Whales states the following (2014):
24 Hours for the Lord is for the whole Catholic Church and one of its main aims is to create a powerful tradition.
It's hoped that the initiative will be held annually on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
(Source here).

In the Context of the New Evangelisation

Spear-headed by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the 24 Hours for the Lord is a prayerful initiative of the New Evangelisation which has the Eucharist as its source and summit.
A truth expounded by Pope Saint John Paul II in Ecclesia Eucharistia (2003, 22).
From the perpetuation of the sacrifice of the Cross and her communion with the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, the Church draws the spiritual power needed to carry out her mission. The Eucharist thus appears as both the source and the summit of all evangelization, since its goal is the communion of mankind with Christ and in him with the Father and the Holy Spirit.



24 Hours for the Lord - 2017

The official website of the Pontifical Council for the Promoting of the New Evangelization makes the following statement:

Following the enthusiasm of past year, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization proposes the 24 hours for the Lord also for the Lent of 2017, on March 24-25.

(Source here)
The theme of 2017's event: "I desire mercy" (Mt 9:13).

Official Poster for the 24 Hours for the Lord: 2017