The Body and Blood of Christ

Quick Facts

AKA NameThe Feast of Corpus Christi, Feast of the Body of Christ, Transubstantiation
HashtagsCompiled on#Jesus, #MoreThanASymbol
Related Hashtags#CorpusChristi
2024 Date30 May 2024

The Body and Blood of Christ

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The Body and Blood of Christ History

The Body and Blood of Christ, also known as Corpus Christi, is a Christian observance that honours the Holy Eucharist. It is a time for Catholics to reflect on the bread and wine transubstantiation into the body and blood of Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. The celebration emphasises the importance of the Eucharist in the life of the faithful community, providing an opportunity to contemplate the sacrament, express gratitude and seek guidance.

The Feast of Corpus Christi traces its roots back to the 13th century when a visionary nun, St. Juliana of Liege, received divine inspiration to establish a day devoted to adoration of the Eucharist. This observance holds particular relevance for Christians in the United Kingdom, offering an occasion to appreciate their shared faith and devotion to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The significance of Corpus Christi is not just a matter of spiritual nourishment, but also one of unity, where British Catholics gather to acknowledge their connection, to express thanks for their blessings, and to affirm their faith, hope, and love in the sacrament.

In the United Kingdom, the celebration of the Body and Blood of Christ is marked by various traditions, such as processions in the streets, where the consecrated host is carried by a priest under a canopy, symbolising the journey of the Eucharist into the world. Participants often adorn their homes and streets with flags, flowers and other decorations, while singing hymns and blessing the crowd with the Eucharist. In England and Wales, Corpus Christi is observed on the Sunday after Holy Trinity Sunday.

The Body and Blood of Christ Facts

  • St. Juliana of Mount Cornillon (Belgium) was a 12th-century nun who spearheaded the effort to include a feast day for the Blessed Sacrament. She reportedly had a vision of the Church as a pure full moon with one dark spot, which she interpreted as the omission of a feast for the sacrament. Following this, Pope Urban IV decreed the Feast of Corpus Christi in the mid-13th century.
  • In the Middle Ages, the priest was the only person who received the elements. The congregation watched him eat the bread and drink the wine.
  • The Sacraments are Jesus Christ's presence in us. So it is important for us to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion - Pope Francis, November 23, 2013.
  • The Feast of Corpus Christi (body of Christ) is held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. In the Western Christianity, it is primarily celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church. Some churches have moved the service to the following Sunday. The day celebrates the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, or Holy Communion.
  • Most Christian denominations require that individuals be baptized and, in some cases, have undergone a period of instruction or formation before partaking in Holy Communion.
  • Catholic doctrine teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, which states that the bread and wine are transformed into the real presence of Jesus' Body and Blood.

The Body and Blood of Christ Top Events and Things to Do

  • Attend Mass and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
  • Travel to Vatican City and watch the annual procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Rome.
  • A wide range of theologies exist about Holy Communion. Read about how the elements of bread and wine are related to the body and blood of Christ depending on your denomination.
  • Teach your children about Holy Communion at home with grape juice and regular bread. Some denominations allow children to take communion, but instead of saying, this is my body broken for you or this is my blood shed for you, communion servers will say to a small child, this means Jesus loves you.

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