Don't know how to spend your Eucharistic holy hour? Here are seven steps for making the most of this special moment with the Blessed Sacrament.
In 1674, Jesus appeared multiple times to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. In those appearances, Christ asked the saint to spend an hour of meditation and adoration every Thursday night to accompany Him in His suffering in Gethsemane.
“Here I suffered internally more than in the rest of my Passion because I was totally alone, abandoned from heaven and earth, burdened with the sins of humanity… So that you may join me in the humble prayer that I presented to my Father, in the midst of all that anguish, you will get up between eleven and midnight, and you will prostrate yourself in adoration for an hour with me,” Jesus told the saint.
Hallow, the popular Catholic prayer app, noted the many ways to pray during a Holy Hour, such as reading the Bible, listening to worship music, writing, or simply contemplating on God.
1. Focus on Prayer
For the first eight minutes, sit back and begin praying. Breathe deeply to focus on the moment of worship you will experience and thus calm your heart and mind.
Hallow advised saying a short prayer such as “Come, Holy Spirit,” reading a Psalm, or reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
2. Worship in Adoration
For the next 10 minutes, "simply adore God. If you’re praying before the Blessed Sacrament, gaze at Jesus and let Him gaze back at you. Rest in wonder at who God is and how He invites you to know Him."
3. Sorrow for Sins
Between minutes 18-25, “ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where you have fallen short and where you might need to ask for God’s mercy. Resolve to go to Confession as soon as you’re able," Fredrickson suggests.
4. Silent Contemplation
This is the core of the Holy Hour, so meditate on God in silence for 20 minutes.
“In this part of your prayer, you can sit quietly,” Hallow noted.
Fredrickson suggests praying the rosary, the Stations of the Cross, the Divine Office, or contemplating on other scriptural meditations.
5. Thank God for Your Blessings
For about five minutes, "thank God for the gifts in your life. This might be something big, such as a new friendship or job, or it might be something small, like your coffee in the morning or the nice walk you took yesterday afternoon."
6. Prayers of Petition
For the next five minutes, Fredrickson advises turning everything over to God.
"Turn to God with the cares and concerns of your heart, those close to you, and all the needs of people throughout the world. Entrust everything to God."
During the last few minutes, dedicate yourself to talking with God and making a resolution.
"How is God calling you to act, think, change, pray? What can you take away from this time spent with Him? Then close your time in prayer with an 'Our Father' or any prayer that is on your heart."