“We bring Christ, present under the sign of bread, onto the streets of our city. We entrust these streets, these homes, our daily life, to his goodness. May our streets be streets of Jesus! May our homes be homes of him and with him! May our life of every day be penetrated by his presence.” – Pope Benedict XVI Corpus Christi 2005
What is a Eucharistic Procession?
It is a liturgical procession of the Church by which we take our Lord’s Body and Blood truly present in the Blessed Sacrament and place it in a monstrance (a special gold holder that displays the Blessed Sacrament) and carry it into the streets of the city, as a sign of our belief in the Eucharist. In the tradition of the Church, a Eucharistic Procession is recommended by the Church’s liturgical law for the feast day of the Body and Blood of Christ or Corpus Christi. Most may be familiar with another form of the Eucharistic Procession at the Holy Thursday Mass when we transfer the Blessed Sacrament to special place as a symbol of Christ leaving the room of the Last Supper to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane with the Apostles.
What is the significance of a Eucharistic Procession?
In the Eucharistic Procession, the movement by the people symbolizes our entire lives and our destiny, which is to be a movement towards eternal union with God. Therefore, the procession is an image of our pilgrimage to God.
What will we do in a Eucharistic Procession?
In a procession, as in life, everyone has their particular roles to play. The priest, being the representative of Jesus, will carry the Blessed Sacrament. A special canopy is held above the Blessed Sacrament during the procession. This canopy is symbolic of the Holy Spirit who hovered above Christ at His Baptism in the Jordan. And it also symbolizes that the True Presence of Christ is travelling with us. In the Old Testament, a cloud would settle above the Ark of the Covenant to indicate that God was dwelling with His people. The canopy is like the cloud. Altar servers will lead the procession with the customary processional cross and candles. An altar server with burning censer will incense the Blessed Sacrament all throughout the procession as a sign of our worship. Additional altar servers will accompany the Blessed Sacrament with lighted candles and ringing bells as during the consecration to draw attention to the Eucharist. The parish community will join in singing the praises of our Eucharistic Lord during the procession led by a choir. At the conclusion of the procession, the Rite of Eucharistic Benediction will be celebrated back in the church.
What is the Rite of Eucharistic Benediction or simply Benediction?
The word “benediction” simply means blessing. In the Rite of Eucharistic Benediction the priest blesses all the people with the Blessed Sacrament. He wears a humeral veil over his shoulders to cover his hands as a sign that this blessing does not come from him, but comes directly from the Lord who is present in the Eucharist.
When is the Eucharistic Procession?
The Eucharistic Procession will be on Sunday, June 7, beginning in the church immediately following the 10 a.m. Mass we will process outside for the procession.
Who should attend?
ALL CATHOLICS: young and old who wish to witness to our Eucharistic faith should plan to participate in this procession! Invite friends and family to join us even if they are not parishioners of our church. Make this a family event. What better way could you spend a Sunday morning, which is the Lord’s day, than for your family to pray together and then “take a walk” with the Lord in this Eucharistic Procession? Recall that Sundays still belong to the Lord and we need to witness to that fact.
What if I can’t walk that far?
For those who are not capable of walking are invited to remain in the Church and pray. When the procession returns, the Rite of Benediction will be celebrated.
What about after the Eucharistic Procession?
A light cover dish dinner will be held in Neglia Hall for all who participate in the Eucharistic Procession. You are invited to bring a dish to share. You may drop it off in Neglia Hall prior to Mass. This is a time for our parish family to gather together to extend the celebration of our Eucharistic faith from the church into our “regular” lives. Please plan to stay to enjoy each other’s company!