The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will resume 40 Hours Devotion in observance of Pope Francis’ annual Lenten initiative, “24 Hours for the Lord,” Thursday, March 11, through Saturday, March 13.
Last year, 40 Hours Devotion was canceled due to the Basilica’s unprecedented closure to the public because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Basilica’s 2021 “24 Hours for the Lord: 40 Hours Devotion” Lenten observance will begin with an Opening Mass on Thursday, March 11, beginning at 5:15 p.m. and will conclude with a Closing Mass on Saturday, March 13, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Advance registration is required for each Mass. To register, please visit www.nationalshrine.org/mass-registration. For those unable participate in person, both Masses will be livestreamed at www.nationalshrine.org/mass.
The Opening Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in the Basilica’s Great Upper Church. Solemn Exposition will begin at the conclusion of this Mass with the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the vestibule of the Great Upper Church for all-night Adoration. Because of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the opportunity for the faithful to adore the Blessed Sacrament will be outside, from the front steps of the Basilica, with the doors of the vestibule open for Exposition.
Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place in the Crypt Church at 7:45 a.m. on Friday, March 12. Following the 8 a.m. Mass, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will resume in the Crypt Church until 5 p.m. At 5 p.m., the Blessed Sacrament will once again be transferred to the vestibule of the Great Upper Church for all-night Adoration through 7:45 a.m., Saturday, March 13.
Following the 8 a.m. Mass on Saturday, March 13, the Blessed Sacrament will remain exposed for Adoration throughout the day, until Reposition in the Great Upper Church at 4 p.m.
At 4:30 p.m., the Closing Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington. At the conclusion of Mass, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a Eucharistic Procession, and Benediction will take place before the final Reposition to close the Basilica’s 40 Hours Devotion.
During 40 Hours Devotion, Confessions will remain available in the Great Upper Church each day from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
In spite of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Basilica is grateful to offer the faithful the opportunity to once again participate in 40 Hours Devotion in observance of the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative begun by Pope Francis in 2014.