Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Today, the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, was originally celebrated as the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body and Blood of Christ). This Feast is a day to celebrate the gift of the Holy Eucharist. In 1264, Pope Urban IV issued the papal bull "Transiturus" in which Corpus Christi was made a feast day.

It was placed on this day to mirror Holy Thursday, the day the Eucharist was instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. But, since Good Friday follows Holy Thursday, it's not the most appropriate day to celebrate and so we are given another day to express our joy.

As most know, the celebration of this feast is usually accompanied by a Eucharistic procession, stating in a public and beautiful way our belief and adoration of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

So, why do we celebrate this feast this Sunday and not today? In the US, the Feast of Corpus Christi is a movable feast. This means that the date of its observance is not tied to a calendar date, but a number of days from Easter. So we celebrate the feast 63 days after Easter, or the Sunday after Trinity Sunday (last Sunday).

Our parish will be having a Eucharistic Procession after the 10:30 am Mass this weekend, and I hope you can all be there for it. What a statement it would be to our community, Parish, and children!

One small note: A week from this Friday is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (More on this Feast next week). That means that if you start a novena to the Sacred Heart today, it would end on the feast day. Why not do something wild and crazy and start a novena tonight with your family after dinner? Oh, come on! Just pray the following prayer as a family each day starting today and ending next Friday:


O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore You, I loved You, and with a lively sorrow for sins, I offer You this poor heart of mine. Make the humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Your will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in You and for You. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.

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