This weekend the Scots College community has kept a 40 hour watch, praying especially for Vocations.
The 4th Sunday of Lent is traditionally Good Shepherd Sunday, or Vocations Sunday, when the church is encouraged to pray for an increase in vocations to religious life. To mark the weekend in the college this year, we have kept a 40 hours devotion in the St. Margaret crypt.
The 40 hours is centred on the Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed in the monstrance for the duration of the prayer. The length of time is significant as 40 appears several times in Scripture whilst also remembering the time from the burial of our Lord to his Resurrection on Easter Sunday morning. The devotion had significant promoters including St. Philip Neri and St. Ignatius of Loyola. The patron saint of seminaries, St. Charles Borromeo also spoke highly of the devotion and St. Francis de Salles, who was an admirer of Philip Neri incorporated it into his ministry.
Due to the college timetable a continuous period of 40 hours was difficult to maintain so the period has been spread out over 3 days, starting after Mass on Saturday morning and then again on Sunday morning with the Blessed Sacrament deposed for a short while during the Sunday Mass. After Compline on both nights the Blessed Sacrament was again deposed.
Our devotion will come to an end on Monday with the period of prayer and watching kept between 7am, after Morning Prayer and ending just before Mass in the evening at 7pm.
During this time as well as praying especially for Vocations to religious life in Scotland, the seminarians, staff and sisters of the community have prayed for their own special intentions.