Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Quick Facts - CA

AKA NameThe Feast of Corpus Christi, Feast of the Body of Christ, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
HashtagsCompiled on#CorpusChristi
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2024 DateMay 30, 2024
2025 DateJune 19, 2025

Corpus Christi

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Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi is a Christian observance celebrated to honour the Holy Eucharist, which represents the body of Christ in the form of bread and wine. This time-honoured tradition unites Catholics worldwide, as they participate in processions, prayers, and masses. A significant aspect of this observance is the Eucharistic procession, where the blessed sacrament is carried through the streets, accompanied by hymns and prayers.

Originating in the 13th century in Belgium, Corpus Christi is today observed by significant Catholic communities in Canada, reflecting its rich cultural and religious background. The celebration, in fact, acknowledges the country's deep Catholic roots, which date back to its early French settlers. Furthermore, the Eucharist's veneration symbolizes the importance of unity among Canadian Catholics, reinforcing the values that have shaped contemporary society.

Corpus Christi celebrations in Canada often entail special masses followed by processions, where worshippers walk solemnly with the Eucharist displayed in ornate monstrances. Participants frequently decorate the streets with colourful flowers and banners, contributing to the festive atmosphere. In addition, Canadian parishes may also hold novena prayers and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the days leading up to the feast. Corpus Christi typically occurs on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is 60 days after Easter Sunday; though in some parts of Canada, the solemnity may be transferred to the following Sunday to accommodate weekend churchgoers.

Corpus Christi facts

  • "Corpus Christi" is a Latin term that translates to "Body of Christ."
  • The liturgical color associated with Corpus Christi is white or gold, symbolizing purity, joy, and the glory of the Eucharist.
  • The Feast of Corpus Christi has its origins in the 13th century and was officially established by Pope Urban IV in 1264.
  • The French-Canadian tradition of tintamarre, a noisy parade with participants banging pots and pans, blowing horns, and making other loud sounds, was a part of the Corpus Christi procession. This tradition is still present in some Acadian communities during the Acadian Day celebrations.
  • Corpus Christi has been observed by Roman Catholic and some Anglican churches in Canada since the early days of European colonization. In particular, it has a long history in Quebec, where it was first celebrated in 1647.

Top things to do in Canada for Corpus Christi

  • If you're Christian, go to Mass and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
  • Travel to the Vatican City and watch the annual procession of the Blessed Sacrament, headed by the Pope, through the streets of Rome.
  • Celebrate Corpus Christi and read a book to learn more about the Eucharist. Here are our suggestions:
    1. Eucharistic Miracles and Eucharistic Phenomena in the Lives of the Saints by Joan Carroll Cruz
    2. The Eucharist: Source and Summit of Christian Spirituality by Olegario Gonzalez de Cardedal
  • Read a book to learn more about the history of Corpus Christi. Here are our top picks:
    1. Feasts: Their History, Theology, and Sociology by Alain Vardon
    2. Corpus Christi: Holy Communion and the Renewal of the Church by Hans Boersma
    3. Sacred Feasts: From a Monastery Kitchen by Victor D'Avila-Latourrette

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