Every year we celebrate the Feast Day of Corpus Christi. We have a procession with the Eucharist from St Joseph Church to St Mary Church. Many people may ask, why such fanfare for what looks like a small wafer?
In the Catholic Church we believe that the small wafer is, in fact, Jesus. That is why we can read 1 Corinthians, Chapter 10 and 11, and understand the severity and importance of the Eucharist in the early Christian’s life. Later on, in the 1200s, Saint Juliana of Cornillon had a vision where a voice said to her that there should be a feast day of the body of Christ in the Eucharist. Saint Thomas Aquinas was set to the task to write up the liturgy for the day. From this, St Thomas was inspired to write all the music for adoration and benediction, the Oh Salutaris and Tantuum Ergo, along with most of the prayers. Since then, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has been developed. In many cultures from Spain, the Philippines and Mexico, the people process in the streets with the Blessed Sacrament as people celebrate and sing songs to Jesus. It is a time to stop and appreciate the perpetual presence of Jesus in the churches throughout the world. The people were reminded that Jesus truly loves us and wants to be with us. It is a way to bring that love to the world, and that such love should not remain in the four walls of the church building.
Today, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the most popular devotions in the Catholic Church. Many churches throughout the world have chapels that offer 24-hour adoration, just like they had at St Thomas Aquinas Church here in Freeport. Here at St Joseph and St Mary Churches we have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every first Friday of the month, as well as many other specified times, and we process with Jesus in the streets every Feast of Corpus Christi.
Leading up to this great feast day, we will be praying a novena to the Blessed Sacrament starting June 14 and continuing till the 23rd of June. Those same days, we will be having display boards out in the Churches, office and community center about various miracles that happened from the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This is the same set that St Thomas had and has given to St Joseph and St Mary Churches. I encourage you to come up and read them whenever you get a chance. How these boards came to be is another inspiring story of a teenager up for canonization. We hope to use these boards to bring hope and faith to other parishes in the diocese.
During the procession, Jesus comes out into our streets and meets us where we are at. Adoration is when we go to where He is at. Like good friends, we look forward to seeing each other. I hope you will take the time to help us bring Jesus to the streets of Freeport before the Dairy Days parade. We will have a procession after the 10:30am Mass to St Mary Church, with a short adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. By 1:00pm, we can head over to the Union Dairy for the Dairy Days Parade. I hope we can join in the parade as well.
Corpus Christi Novena Explanation
June 23 is the Feast Day of Corpus Christi, where we as Catholics honor Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. All are invited to pray the novena prayer below. You can cut it out and pray it for the nine days of the novena. The Novena starts on Friday, June 14.
Novena prayers are great for opening us up for the graces of special feast days like this. We look forward to honoring our savior Jesus and the graces He wants to give us.
~ Daily Novena Prayers ~
O Lord, You have given us this Sacred Banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.
V: You have given them bread from Heaven.
R: Having all sweetness within it.
Let us pray. God our Father, for Your glory and our salvation You appointed Jesus Christ eternal High Priest. May the people He gained for You by His Blood come to share in the power of His Cross and Resurrection by celebrating His Memorial in this Eucharist, for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.
O Jesus, since You have left us a remembrance of Your Passion beneath the veils of this Sacrament, grant us, we pray, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Your Body and Blood that we may always enjoy the fruits of Your Redemption, for You live and reign forever. Amen.