On Sunday, June 6th, we will celebrate the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi, or “The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” which commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist. The 11:00 am Mass will be a Solemn High Mass, followed by an outdoor procession with the Blessed Sacrament in the parish gardens. (Please note, there will be no 12:30 pm Mass on Sunday, June 6th. Find the full schedule below). The feast of Corpus Christi at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago is an important experience for parishioners and visitors. Flowers and incense prepare the way for the Blessed Sacrament, and elaborate chalk designs adorn the pathways to the four altars set up for the procession.
Members of the St. Martha’s Guild worked long hours with chalk and washable tempera paints on the granite steps to create a stunning display showing a jeweled chalice and radiating Eucharistic host being adored by angels with incense thuribles. The adoring angels were modeled after the angels from William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s (1825-1905) Queen of the Angels.
The Feast of Corpus Christi (traditionally celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday), recalls how Jesus instituted this the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist on Maundy Thursday. Thomas Aquinas considered the Eucharist to be the greatest of all sacraments (Summa Th. III: 65,3). Thus, the Church has consistently viewed the Eucharist as unique, even among the sacraments. Thus it is fitting that a feast exist to specifically commemorate the Eucharist. The Catholic Catechism summarizes this teaching of the importance of the Eucharist:
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.” (1324)
Corpus Christi Schedule:
Thursday, June 3rd - Corpus Christi (Extraordinary Form)
8:00 am - Extraordinary Form Low Mass
7:30 pm - Extraordinary Form High Mass followed by indoor Eucharistic Procession
Sunday, June 6th - The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
7:30 am - Tridentine Low Mass
9:00 am - English Mass (Ordinary Form)
11:00 am - Solemn High Mass with Choir (Extraordinary Form)
12:30 pm - Outdoor Corpus Christi Procession
3:00 pm - Solemn Vespers
5:00 pm - English Mass (Ordinary Form)