torsdag 23 juni 2011

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi and here in Brighton we shall be celebrating with a sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form, followed by a Blessed Sacrament procession. We are very fortunate in having a parish priest, Fr Ray Blake, who, gently but firmly, is promoting the traditional Catholic liturgy.

The feast of Corpus Christi commemorates the fact that the body of Christ - that is - God - is really present in the Blessed Sacrament under the appearances of ordinary bread and wine. Which is not so strange if one thinks about it for a moment. The choir is singing a Palestrina setting of the Sequence, part of the liturgy for the day composed by St Thomas Aquinas.

Gospel for the day
I am the living bread which came down from heaven. [52] If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world. [53] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? [54] Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. [55] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.

[54] "Eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood"... To receive the body and blood of Christ, is a divine precept, insinuated in this text; which the faithful fulfil, though they receive but in one kind; because in one kind they receive both body and blood, which cannot be separated from each other. Hence, life eternal is here promised to the worthy receiving, though but in one kind. Ver. 52. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world. Ver. 58. He that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. Ver. 59. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.

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