Forty Hours Devotion Kicks Off Three-Year Eucharistic Revival

Kicks Off Three-Year Eucharistic Revival

On Friday, June 17, the Diocese of Birmingham began a Forty Hours Devotion in preparation for the commencement of the diocesan phase of the National Eucharistic Revival. The revival, which the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for, is a three-year “grass-roots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.” Particularly right now, the Bishops feel the Church in the United States needs healing, unity, formation, and sending. The mission of the revival is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Following the Votive Mass for the Holy Eucharist celebrated by Father Justin Ward, Vicar for Sacred Liturgy and Episcopal Master of Ceremonies for the diocese, and concelebrated by Fathers Charles Deering and John Paul Zeller, M.F.V.A., the cathedral was filled with candlelight as the sacrament of penance was offered by priests of the diocese and the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration. 

The next morning, a Votive Mass of Our Lady was celebrated immediately followed by Divine Liturgy according to the Maronite rite. Abouna Peter Zogbi, parish administrator at St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church in Birmingham, presided. Later in the day, confession was again offered by priests of the diocese, and after the Vigil Mass of Corpus Christi was celebrated, adoration continued throughout the night. 

On Sunday morning, in addition to the regular Mass schedule, Solemn Lauds preceded the 11 a.m. Pontifical Mass for Corpus Christi, also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. During his homily, Bishop Steven Raica instructed, “If there is anything that should motivate us as we contemplate the Eucharist these next couple of years during the revival process, it is this: Where can I ‘make room for Christ in my life!’ Make room for Christ! That’s a worthy consideration today! Making room means we may have to adjust our priorities and determine what really matters.” He invited those present and watching via livestream to open their hearts to receive Christ and open their minds to the gift of the Eucharist. “With minds and hearts renewed,” he said, “we have a place where Christ can radiate in our lives. Make room for Christ, so your minds and hearts may be more conformed to His.”

After solemn vespers that evening, crowds began to mount for the 7 p.m. candlelight eucharistic procession through the streets of downtown Birmingham. First Communicants prepared that way with rose petals as hundreds followed in procession, proudly witnessing to their belief in the Eucharistic Lord.