Sunday, May 25, 2008

Body of Christ...

Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ) is a Catholic feast in honour of the Holy Eucharist. Within the Roman Catholic Church, the feast is offically known as the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.

The feast is assigned to the Thursday following Trinity Sunday, mirroring Maundy Thursday, the Thursday of Holy Week on which Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper.

In most English-speaking countries, the Feast of Corpus Christi is transferred to the Sunday after Trinity Sunday by the National Episcopal Confrences. At the end of the Mass, it is customary to have a processions of the Blessed Sacrament (often outdoors) followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

Corpus Christi is primarily celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, but it is also included in the calendar of a few Anglican churches, most notably the Church of England. The feast is also celebrated by some Anglo-Catholic parishes. In Roman Catholic parishes that use the Mass of Paul VI, the feast is known as "the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ".

In the Church of England it is known as "The Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion (Corpus Christi)" and has the status of a Festival. It is also celebrated by the Old Catholic Church and by some Western Rite Orthodox Christians, and is commemorated in the liturgical calendars of the more Latinized Eastern Catholic Churches.

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