Monday, June 8, 2009

The Corpus Christi Procession...

This coming weekend (for those who transfer the feast from Thursday to Sunday - which is most everyone...) is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi - and the time for the traditional Corpus Christi Processions. Louisville Catholics who are old enough will remember the annual processions that were held at Churchill Downs from the 1940's into the 1970's. This Sunday many parishes will be marking the feast by having their own - or participating in regional - processions. This was the case at my last parish assignment at St. Martin of Tours in Flaherty, KY, which has a long and proud tradition of hosting the Corpus Christi Procession for that area.

Corpus Christi 2008 in Flaherty, KY:


The feast dates from the year 1264 when Pope Urban IV, by issue of the papal bull "Transiturus," established Corpus Christi as a feast to be celebrated throughout the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas composed the propers for the Mass of Corpus Christi, including the popular hymn "Pange Lingua." The procession, which accompanies the feast in many places, is a hallmark of the event, in which Catholics take the opportunity to publicly manifest their belief in the Real Presence (click HERE for an interesting insight into the history of the procession as an element of Divine worship).

Some pictures of Corpus Christi Processions throughout the world:



3 comments:

Mrs. Miller said...

Wow, I remember the Corpus Christi processions at Churchill Downs! I 'googled' such and stumbled upon your blog :) I still yearn for such a procession....Off to read more of your blog. May God continue to bless you and your ministry!
~*Karen in OH (former Louisvillian)

Dale Weeks said...

I, too, remember attending Corpus Christi processions at Churchill Downs; as I recall, there were some pretty good turnouts!

Charlie Richardson said...

My first Corpus Christi Procession was held at St. Thomas Seminary. I was a young alter boy from St Rita parish and got drenched in the rain. Still I remember it with fond thoughts.