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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
Ex 24: 3-8
Psalm 116: 12-13, 15-16, 17-18
Heb 9: 11-15
Mk 14: 12-16, 22-26
All of today˅s readings are centered on sacrifice both as practiced in the Mosaic
Covenant in the blood of animals and in the New Covenant established by Jesus
through the shedding of His blood once for all. In the Psalm, we rejoice at the
cup of salvation, the sacrifice of thanksgiving. St. Paul tells us that Christ is the
mediator of a new covenant so that we may receive the promised eternal inheri-
tance. And Jesus, Himself, tells us, ˈThis is My blood of the Covenant which
shall be shed for many.ˉ
The feast of Corpus Christi always harkens me back to my childhood where there
was always a procession in the afternoon of Corpus Christi. The clergy, vested in
white and gold, led us to several different altars where the Blessed Sacrament
was displayed in a huge golden monstrance that was shaped like the sun with the
Sacred Host in the center. All us girls would serve as an honor guard, dressed in
white, crowned with home-made circlets of flowers, and dropping petals in the
path of the procession. Clouds of incense rose as did our voices as everyone
sang the many verses of the ˈPange Linguaˉ as we trudged along outside in the
hot sun. At each stop we would adore the Blessed Sacrament for a few minutes,
and then continue walking and singing. At the final stop we would sing the last
two verses, ˈTantum Ergoˉ, as the priests prepared for Benediction. We knelt on
the ground and bowed our heads as the priest blessed us with the Blessed Sac-
rament and concluded by praying, ˈBlessed be God; Blessed be His Holy
Nameˎ.ˉ It was always hot, someone always fainted, it was always beautiful.
In researching this feast, I learned that St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the first Liturgy
for the feast of Corpus Christi and he also penned all the traditional songs in-