Corpus Christi?

I am new to the Church, so what is this “Corpus Christi” thing? Is it a special ceremony or what? What happens then?


It’s a Mass (the whole day, really) that commemorates the Body (and Blood) of Christ. It’s just like how Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ and Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit.

To promote adoration of the Body and Blood of Christ, is is traditional, though by no means universal, to have a procession with the Blessed Sacrament on Corpus Christi. The Host is exposed in a monstrance - usually a sunburst - style holder in gold, the priests and servers and all the people process outdoors to several altars, prayers are prayed and hymns are sung, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament happens - a blessing by the Host.

As for the procession, here are some pictures of the Corpus Christi procession at our parish last year.

The procession is lead first by the altar boys, then by the girls of the parish ( scattering rose petals) and then the Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Sacrament is carried by a priest or deacon under a canopy called a Baldachino. The Knight of Columbus walk along side, and are followed by the faithful of the parish singing hyms.

We stop at several prayer points for a Reading. The Blessed Sacrament is incensed, and then a blessing by the Blessed Sacrament ( a Benediction) is given.

Corpus Christi is Latin for Body of Christ, the Eucharist as previous posters noted. There used to be a separate Feast of the Precious Blood on July 1. The new calendar combined the two, which seems quite logical.

I would suggest the best way to understand the Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) is to read the Scripture readings from the Feast Day

and look at the lyrics to the hymns associated with the Feast Day.

Also read the Catholic Encyclopedia on the subject

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