Family Prayer Night Devotions are weekly family friendly holy hours which usually consists of Eucharistic Adoration during which children and families share in leading the Rosary, singing beautiful hymns to Our Lady, songs of adoration and worship of Our Lord, praying the Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours with extended time allotted for intercessory prayers for families and family members in need of conversion and healing, and time for private, heartfelt adoration. When a priest is available, a special family Mass and individual Confession can be offered.
What is a Family Prayer Night Devotion?
Family Prayer Night is a Eucharist-centered Marian devotion where individuals and families gather for a weekly holy hour and family Rosary in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. It draws families into the liturgical worship of the Eucharist and can include the Mass, Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, and/or Eucharistic Adoration. It is prayer by the family, for the family and with the family, and includes reading Sacred Scripture, hymns and inspired songs, offering prayers for individual family needs, and interceding for the needs of others.
Are there a variety of formats for a Family Prayer Night Devotion?
Yes. We recommend three basic formats to consider: Mass with Adoration and the Rosary; Adoration with Evening Prayer and the Rosary, and; Adoration with the Rosary, Scripture and Intercessory Prayer. Adaptations can be made depending upon local circumstances, resources, and the availability of priests, deacons and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. Availability of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as part of the devotion is also very helpful. Other ideas for in-home family prayer are proposed as well.
Can a lay person expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance for the purpose of adoration?
Yes. The Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship made provision in the Roman Ritual for permitting several kinds of authorized persons to expose and repose the Blessed Sacrament in the absence of a priest or deacon. Authorization must comply with established diocesan requirements and be approved by your local pastor before exposition of the Blessed Sacrament can be conducted in the framework of Family Prayer Night Devotions.
Was it the intent of the Second Vatican Council to discourage Eucharistic and Marian devotions?
No. On the contrary, popular devotions are encouraged and highly recommended. In fact, Eucharistic Adoration and the family rosary have been particularly insisted upon. Before and after the Second Vatican Council, all the Popes and Bishops in communion with him have taught that these devotions should be generously fostered by pastors as the most effective means for family members to prepare for and more actively participate in the Sacred Liturgy.
What can be done when the request to begin or participate in a Family Prayer Night is not accepted by the pastor, the parish or family members?
Persevere in prayer, especially by praying the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament, in fasting and by extending charity to all who may oppose you. It will be through the powerful intercession of the Holy Family—Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph—that hearts will be opened to receive the grace of Family Prayer Night.
Does establishing a Family Prayer Night Devotion mean additional burdens and responsibilities for the pastor?
No. The whole-hearted support and commitment of the laity means the lay faithful take full responsibility for the devotion at the parish level. Rather than a burden, families praying together in the church for other families and for priests will be a source of great joy and support to the pastor and will help him promote the spiritual health of his parish family.
What are the spiritual benefits of Family Prayer Night?† Renewal of devotion and love for Jesus and Mary leading to increased participation in the Sacraments, especially Holy Mass and Reconciliation, and in EucharisticAdoration.