Daily Mass and Holy Hours
As we approach the change to the Mass times adjustment on July 1st, half of our daily Masses will have a new time. All of our daily Masses will begin at 8:00am. This change keeps things consistent throughout our family of parishes. More importantly it gives an opportunity for the priests and seminarians serving our parishes to make a holy hour together at the start of the day. The priests and seminarian, who begins in late August, will have an opportunity to pray before the exposed Blessed Sacrament. We will be able to live Mother Teresa’s montra, “the family that prays together, stays together.”
The idea of a holy hour comes from Jesus’ plea to the Apostles during the Agony in the Garden, “Could you not wait with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). Jesus asks His friends to pray with Him for an hour the night before He dies. Christians have taken this lesson to spend an hour with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Many of our parishioners follow this invitation by spending an hour with the Lord in our Blessed Sacrament chapels.
This adjustment to the daily Mass schedule means that some people who had previously attended daily Mass, won’t be able to attend any more and some who haven’t attended are now able to attend. There is no one size fits all for daily Mass schedule. For some people, 6:30am is best, for others 9:00am, some really prefer a noon Mass, and others an evening Mass. Unfortunately we could never make everyone happy. We decided on this schedule because, at the end of the day, it is good for our priests to pray together. Our spiritual health will benefit everyone. The deeper our prayer lives, the more we have to share with you.
This means that some people who would like to attend daily Mass won’t be able to attend due to the schedule adjustment. I would like to offer a couple suggestions that will never be able to replace the reception of Holy Communion, yet can still work wonders in your spiritual life.
The first idea is to join the priests and seminarian for the morning holy hour at St. John from 6:30am-7:30am. You can come for the entire thing or simply stop by for a few minutes to greet our Lord. Praying before the Blessed Sacrament gives us time to gaze upon the face of Jesus Christ. We look at Him and He looks back at us. These Holy Hours will conclude with Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. If you are unfamiliar with the Liturgy of the Hours, we’ll have books available and be happy to show you the ropes.
That leads to a second idea: you can begin to pray the Liturgy of the Hours on your own. The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Catholic Church. Certain Psalms, Readings, and intercessions are prayed daily throughout the Church. You can pray with the Church as you’re able. There are seven different “hours.” The prayers aren’t an hour long, but refer to hours of the day. It can be a little complicated to get the feel at first, flipping through all the books. There are guides and mobile apps that can help beginners.
A final possibility is to meditate on the daily Mass readings. Using lectio divina or another prayer method every day will supercharge your spiritual life. Taking time to chew on the readings and apply them to your life is a powerful tool. The Sacred Scriptures can nourish your life and lift our spirits to God.
Adjustments to our regular schedule are rarely easy. It takes time for us to get into a new groove. With time, perseverance, and hope, we can make it through anything in our lives. As I’ve undergone many transitions in my own life, I know that the Lord always invites me to trust Him and persevere.
May you have a blessed Corpus Christi Sunday and may the Eucharist always animate your spiritual life. If you have any questions about the schedule or would like to chat, please let me know.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Sean Wilson