Exposition is a devotion in which the Blessed Sacrament (the consecrated Host, the Eucharist) is placed visibly on the altar. The Blessed Sacrament is truly the presence of Jesus Christ, so people are invited to pray in the Lord’s presence, worshipping Him. For this reason, Exposition can also be called ‘adoration’.
Exposition at the Cathedral usually takes place in silence, but is sometimes accompanied by the Rosary or other prayers.
An hour spent before the Lord in prayer is often called a ‘Holy Hour’; it is a response to the Lord’s invitation to His disciples in Gethsemane: “Could you not stay here and pray with me for one hour?”
Exposition sometimes ends with Benediction (from the Latin meaning ‘blessing’). The Host is lifted up and across so as to trace the shape of a cross before the congregation. This act, which has been part of the Church’s worship for many centuries, is a special way of asking God to bless His people.
40 Hours Devotion
Each year the Cathedral keeps the traditional ’40 hours’ devotion. Over four days, parishioners and visitors spend a total of 40 hours in prayer before the Lord. At Lancaster Cathedral, this devotion usually ends with the feast of Corpus Christi in May/June. Dates are given in the Cathedral diary.
Those who are not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church are welcome to attend Exposition and to join fully in any public prayers. For details of other services, click here.