Today we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi, is a significant feast in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. It is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, in some countries, on the following Sunday. This solemnity honors the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, commemorating the institution of the Holy Eucharist during the Last Supper.

The origins of this feast can be traced back to the 13th century when a Belgian nun, St. Juliana of Li猫ge, experienced a series of visions in which she was directed by God to establish a special feast to honor the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. Inspired by these visions, she shared her revelations with the bishop and the learned theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, who later composed many of the liturgical texts for this feast.

This celebration features a lively procession, with the Blessed Sacrament displayed for adoration. It’s a powerful reminder of Christ’s presence among us and our call to imitate His selfless love.

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Corpus Christi invites believers to deepen their faith and share Christ’s love with the world. It’s a time of gratitude for this sacred gift and a chance to encounter the living Christ in a tangible way.

The procession

The procession typically begins inside the church, where the faithful gather for a special Mass dedicated to the Eucharist. After the Mass, the congregation, led by clergy and accompanied by musicians and altar servers, forms a procession that moves through the streets or around the church grounds.

The Blessed Sacrament, usually placed in an ornate monstrance, is held high by a priest or bishop as a focal point of adoration. The procession is often accompanied by prayers, hymns, and incense, creating an atmosphere of reverence and joy.

Along the route, the faithful may have adorned the streets with flowers and decorations as a sign of honor and respect for the Eucharistic Lord. This act of beautification adds to the festive ambiance and serves as a visual representation of the splendor and glory of Christ’s presence.

As the procession moves forward, people who live along the route often join in or observe from their windows and doorways. They may kneel or make the sign of the cross as the Blessed Sacrament passes by, showing their reverence for the real presence of Christ.

The procession concludes back at the church, where a final blessing is given. The Eucharist is then placed back in the tabernacle, symbolizing the return of Christ to the heart of the community.

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The Corpus Christi procession is a powerful manifestation of faith, unity, and adoration. It allows believers to publicly express their devotion to the Eucharist and invites others to witness the profound love and reverence Catholics have for the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

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