Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You are well and have been able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. You likely did not notice but last Thursday was Corpus Christi. I have been asked to explain what the day represents and why some European countries have a bank holiday for it.
Corpus Christi is mainly celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church, but it is also observed in a few Anglican churches in the United Kingdom. Many Christians, particularly those who belong to the Catholic denomination, receive Communion on this day. Some people, particularly children, receive their first Communion during Corpus Christi. This practice, also known as the Eucharist, involves people accepting consecrated bread and wine, which according to Christian faith are Jesus Christ’s body and blood. Corpus Christi usually falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday although some churches may celebrate it on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.
The town of Arundel, in south-east England, has celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi for more than a century. Celebrations include a festival of flowers, which features a carpet of flowers in the Cathedral’s central aisle. The flowers are usually open to the public. The festival also includes a mass and a Blessed Sacrament procession from the cathedral to the town’s castle.
Corpus Christi is not a bank holiday in the United Kingdom because our country is not a Catholic country.
Corpus Christi is a festival that has been celebrated by many Christians, particularly the Catholic Church, in honour of the Eucharist since 1246. The name “Corpus Christi” is a Latin phrase that refers to the body of Christ. This event commemorates the Last Supper on the day before Jesus’ crucifixion, as described in the Bible. According to some sources, Corpus Christi was celebrated in England from 1318 onwards, while others say that it was introduced in England from Belgium between 1320 and 1325. Special Corpus Christi plays and pageants were customary in England prior to 1547. Corpus Christi guilds often staged these events. Such traditions have been revived in Oxford.
Symbols that portray the event may include: an image of a host (consecrated bread) and chalice to depict the Holy Eucharist; an altar; and a ciborium, which is a chalice-like container used to store consecrated hosts of the sacrament of Eucharist, or the Holy Communion.
I hope this helps!
I wish You all a peaceful Sunday and a successful week ahead. I am so glad that some of You are finding Your feet after Covid. Let us hope that the vaccines continue to work and that We return as a nation to some semblance of normality. God Bless You all.
Let us pray
for the willingness to make present in our world the love of Christ shown to us in the Eucharist, Lord Jesus Christ,
we worship you living among us
in the sacrament of your body and blood.
May we offer to our Father in heaven
a solemn pledge of undivided love.
May we offer to our brothers and sisters
a life poured out in loving service of that kingdom where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God for ever and ever.