Night Of Love by John M. Haffert
The guidelines are simple: Have no LONG talks; involve the vigilers themselves; have a variety of intentions; focus on a need of the moment (such as an earthquake, war, a nearby abortion clinic , etc.); involve the vigilers, plan to include their movement.
Most of those making this vigil with you are "saints." They have been living a Eucharistic life sometimes for many years. They have the Holy Spirit living in them. And they are the key to a most successful vigil.
You can involve them most easily by inviting each one to come up before the Blessed Sacrament to offer personal intentions.
If a microphone is available, set up a kneeler in front of the altar and invite them to HOLD the microphone as they offer their intentions. They are usually reticent, modest, very soft spoken. They will be speaking to Our Lord. But you want everyone present to be sharing in their intentions, sharing in their inspiration.
Invite individuals to read parts of the meditations of the Rosary, giving them a copy in advance so they will be prepared. And invite them to offer intentions which the Holy Spirit may inspire.
Invite them to do other readings according to your plan for the vigil.
It is good to say every other decade of the Rosary standing, with a short hymn (such as the Ave of Fatima or Lourdes, or the Stabat Mater, or "Come let us adore Him.") At the end of each decade. In a full vigil, other movement is provided by processions of the Blessed Sacrament and of Our Lad's statue, and the Way of the Cross.
Have a plane, even if it is not always the same. Indeed, some vigils could honor God the Father, others the Holy Spirit, others to celebrate special occasions, special feasts, special intentions.
If you are a priest, invite one or more lay person to help you with the plan. If you are a lay person, of course, coordinate your plan with the priest. Deacons can be especially helpful in vigils.
Any plan should follow the guidelines above, while following the inspiration of the moment But the entire night should be planned so there are no long gaps, especially in the early hours of the morning.
If not a part of the plan, the Chaplet of Mercy and the prayers taught by the angel at Fatima can be introduced at any time. After the Mass of the Sacred Heart comes the act of consecration to Him, and at the Mass of the Immaculate Heart (preferably at the Offertory) enrollment in the Scapular and renewal of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
How Long?
The ideal vigil is from 9 p.m. to 5 or 6 a.m. When the vigil is in a remote place and those attending must drive some distance to attend, the time may be from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
In some areas the night is divided into a series of Holy Hours. For example in the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Albany, N.Y., the vigil for the first Saturday of October, 1966, was divided into Holy Hours on the following subjects:
1)   Hour for the Conversion of Russia
2)   Hour for the Conversion of Sinners
3)   Hour for the Persecuted of the World
4)   Hour for the Soldiers at War
5)   Hour for Priests and Religious
6)   Hour for Lay Apostles and Apostolates
7)   Hour for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
8)   Hour for Bishops, Priests, and Religious
There may be as many different programs as there are vigils and, as we said earlier, one should take advantage of special dates, special places.
We will propose two programs which we consider ideal: One for the shorter vigil (with a possible extension), and one for the full vigil.
9:00: Penitential Hour: It is well to begin the vigil in this manner for several reasons. Essentially this is an examination of conscience, a review of the commandments of God and of the Church, a meditation on the horror of sin and the need for true repentance. Many books are available for this. Also one can use the new Catechism.
This is a preparation for the Confessions which will follow during the night, since Confession is an obligatory condition for the first Saturdays. And if the priest is invited to give this public examination of conscience, he will then be free during the time before the first Mass to hear Confessions.
9:30: Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary with suggested meditations which follow in Part II, praying that Our Lady give us an appreciation of the night we are about to spend, and to prepare us for the Votive Mass of the Sacred Heart which will open our vigil.
10:30: Mass of the Sacred Heart, since most vigils begin on first Friday, the sermon during the Mass should bring out the great appeal for love and reparation repeated by the Sacred Heart in our own time: "Could you not watch one hour with Me?"
The Blessed Sacrament is exposed.
Immediately after Mass the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Hymns of the Sacred Heart and of the Blessed Sacrament are used throughout.
If the vigil begins at nine o'clock, there is now only an hour left before midnight for the Litany of the Sacred Heart, renewal of consecration to Him, and procession of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Be sure to include the Chaplet and the prayers taught by the angel at Fatima (adoring the Blessed Sacrament).
Many vigils cannot have the service of a priest the entire night, because of his obligations in the early morning,a and in this event the Blessed Sacrament is left enthroned after the procession and the lay vigilers continue with the program through the night.
12:00: The Joyful Mysteries begin. We turn to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in this first hour of the first Saturday, to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus even more. With ten minute mediations, the first three decades require about forty minutes. Then, still contemplating the birth of Our Lord and Our Lad's journey with Him to the temple, we carry the statue of Our Lady in procession while singing the Lourdes or Fatima hymn.
This procession will follow the same route as that of the Blessed Sacrament. It is usually down the center aisle, around and back on one side of the church, then back down the opposite side, returning to the altar by the center aisle again. It is always good to have the vigilers remain in the center aisle and separate, letting the returning statue pass between them.
Now, we sing a stirring salute to Our Queen (such as "Hail, Holy Queen!") and kneel for the last two Joyful decades.
1:30: Coffee Break. This is an important part of the vigil, not just for refreshment, but so vigilers can greet each other. We are here on a special calling of the Sacred Hearts.
However, the break should not be more than fifteen minutes, with half the group going at a time, leaving the other half in adoration.
Since we have already said the Sorrowful Mysteries, we now have a sermon if a priest is present, otherwise a reading on the meaning of the Passion. This is followed by the Stations of the Cross. We sing the Stabat Mater in English between each station, and here it might be noted that it is helpful, especially in these morning hours, to have organ accompaniment.
In the case of a very small group, all can walk around the church for the stations. Usually, only the reader, cross and candle bearers proceed to the stations.
Now follows a unique adoration somewhat similar to the adoration of the cross in the Good Friday liturgy. But since we have Our Lord exposed before us, instead of prostrating before a crucifix, each vigiler goes to the altar steps, kneels on both knees, and bows almost until the forehead touches the floor. Meanwhile, the entire group recites over and over the Payer of the Archangel, "O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer The the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, etc.
This act of individual adoration recalls the first great apparition of Fatima: the Archangel left the bleeding Host and the Chalice suspended in the air and prostrated himself before Them. His repeated recitation of the prayer was indelibly etched upon the minds of the three children so that, ever afterward, they remembered each word of the prayer and felt impelled to recite it often.
We recall that in the very second apparition of Our Lady, She permitted rays of light to stream from Her hands upon the children and they felt lost in God and cried together: "O Most Holy Trinity I adore Thee! My God, My God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament!"
Now, little more than an hour is left before the closing Benediction. This is the hour of greatest fatigue, therefore our best speakers ought to be saved for Glorious Mystery meditations. And with ten-minute meditations, the hour passes all too swiftly, preparing us for the great climax of the Benediction and the Mass, usually the Saturday Votive Mass of Our Lady or the Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Confessions Throughout
To obtain the promise of the first Saturdays one MUST make not only a Communion of Reparation on the first Saturday, but one must also (either on that day or within seven days) make a Confession of reparation. This means that even if one does not have any grievous sins to confess, one must receive the Sacrament of Penance in a spirit of reparation for all sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The only other obligation of the five first Saturdays has already been fulfilled during the morning with our Rosary and meditations.
If there should be more than one new vigiler present, it is important to explain the first Friday/first Saturday devotion which will be found in the next chapter. Different persons could be appointed to read it in parts. An alternative would e to lend them a copy of this book so they can read these first chapters.
Will Vigilers Avoid Purgatory Completely
We may not be making this vigil because of the promise Our Lord attached to the first Friday Communions, or because of the promise Our Lady attached to the practice of the five first Saturdays. But the promise Our Lady made at Fatima for the five first Saturdays indicated not only the grace of a happy death, but that SHE WILL COME TO US AT THE HOUR OF DEATH. And this recalls the great experience of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri.
The saint wrote in the Glories of Mary about the promise of salvation and of speedy liberation from Purgatory which Our Lady attached to perseverance in the Brown Scapular. Then he added:
"If we do a little more than Our Lady asked, can't we hope that we won't go to Purgatory at all?"
When Saint Alphonsus was dying, he awoke from a coma, sat halfway up in bed with arms outstretched and stared ecstatically to the fore. Then as he whispered "Mary!" he sagged back on the pillows and was dead.
Forty years later, when ecclesiastical examiners opened the coffin, a strange sight met their eyes. All corruptibles in the coffin (except buttons, buckles, bones) had returned to dust, with one singular exception. There midst the corruption of the tomb in perfect preservation (even though made of a highly corruptible wool and cotton) was the Saint's brown scapular, miraculously echoing the Saint's words: "if we do a little more than Our Lady asked,can't we hope that we won't got to Purgatory at all?"
The all night vigilers are not usually here for this glorious night of prayer and sacrifice for the sake of a reward,but because of love...because they still hear the words of Our Lord in the garden: "Could you not watch one hour with me?"---and the more recent words of Our Lady as She trembled over a terrifying vision of hell: "So many souls are lost because there is no one to pray and to make sacrifice for them."
Their reward is the joy of fulfilling Our Lady's wishes. Their reward is the joy of being together in the true presence of Christ, supported and buoyed by each other's faith. Their reward is in the act itself...the act of loving Christ in our midst, and of experiencing His love in return,at a time when the world's only hope lies in this love.
The above is only a suggestion. Make up your own hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute, program for your own next vigil, listing after each time segment the name or names of the persons who will carry it out.
The short vigil, ending at 2 a.m., would be the same as above until midnight. Then have the coffee break at midnight, followed by the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary with Benediction at 1:15 followed by Mass of the Immaculate Heart. For persons not traveling from afar, the Blessed Sacrament may be exposed again after Mass and the rest of the program completed.
Since the Rosary is usually a very important part of every vigil, at the same time that we are aware of the true Presence of Our Lord before us, we should also be aware that when we pray the Rosary, Our Lady joins us.
During One Night You Could Save 1000 Souls
Tremendous Benefit For Our Priests Who Have Become Involved
Making Reparation For Sin Can Save The World
Nights of Love make history
Special Days of the Two Hearts
The Lord Made A Worldwide Call
Suggested Vigil Programs and Guidelines
First Words at Lourdes
All Night Vigil Meditations On The Rosary
Joyful Mysteries For All Night Vigil
Sorrowful Mysteries For All Night Vigil
Glorious Mysteries For All Night Vigil
Alternative Programs For All Night Vigil
Additional Suggestions For First Friday/Saturday Reparation Vigil Services
Night Of Love by John M. Haffert
Please Join Us For First Friday/Saturday All Night Prayer Vigil
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