My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Praised be Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar! Now and forever!
Today is Corpus Christi Sunday! The Solemnity of Corpus Christi commemorates Our Lord’s institution of the Holy Eucharist.
Corpus Christi was introduced in the late 13th century to encourage the Catholic faithful to give special honor to the Blessed Sacrament. The official title of this Solemnity was changed in 1970 to “The Body and Blood of Christ”; in Latin, “Sollemnitas Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Christi”; and it is still on the Roman Missal’s official calendar for the Universal Church on Thursday after Holy Trinity Sunday. However, where it is not a Holy Day of Obligation (as in the United States), it is celebrated on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday.
The festival day was established in the year 1246 at the request of St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, and was extended to the whole Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. Today’s Mass texts and Divine Office (Breviary) were composed by the Dominican priest St. Thomas Aquinas, and the Mass includes the sequence, “Lauda Sion”, which contains these words: “See today before us laid the Living and Life-Giving Bread, theme for praise and joy profound.
The same which at the sacred board was by Our Incarnate Lord, given to His Apostles Round. Let the praise be loud and high; sweet and tranquil be the joy felt today in ever breast. On this festival divine, which records the origin of the glorious Eucharist. Body and Blood of my God, I adore Thee, truly present in the Eucharist, the bond of unity between Jesus Christ and his followers who feed on it.”
The procession on Corpus Christi to honor the Holy Eucharist has become a principal feature of the feast’s celebration by the Catholic faithful worldwide. This procession is endowed with many indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV. Today, our beautiful procession begins here at St. John’s, following our special 9 AM Mass with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Gospel reading, Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and Benediction.
Afterwards, I will carry the Blessed Sacrament honored by the Knights of Columbus and all parishioners to the waiting float. We will then process down Main St. to Washington St., to St. Sebastian Church for devotions and benediction by Fr. James. Then we will process to St. Mary of Czestochowa Church and finally to St. Francis of Assisi for the final benediction by His Excellency, Bishop Michael Cote, D.D. Bishop of Norwich.
A celebration dinner follows at Msg. Fox Parish Center. Please join us! So many have come together to make Corpus Christi possible.
May the Lord Jesus truly and substantially present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar continue to be praised, adored, and loved, in all the Tabernacles of the world, even until the end of time!
Blessings this Solemn Corpus Christi Sunday on our parishes, our homes, our priests, deacons, and faithful.
Devotedly in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,