Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Feast of Corpus Christi

The Feast of Corpus Christi is observed in some churches today, transferred from its true position on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday.  It commemorates the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, as the body of Christ.  It is a national holiday in several countries, and is sometimes celebrated with a procession.

The monstrance, seen in the illustration here, is a special vessel used to hold the consecrated host, particularly in special liturgies such as for Corpus Christi or for the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

This hymn is known and loved by many who observe the feast on this day.

Sweet Sacrament divine,
hid in thine earthly home;
lo! round thy lowly shrine,
with suppliant hearts we come;
Jesus, to thee our voices raise
In songs of love and heartfelt praise
Sweet Sacrament divine,
Sweet Sacrament divine.

Sweet Sacrament of peace,
dear home of every heart,
where restless yearnings cease,
and sorrows all depart.
there in thine ear, all trustfully,
we tell our tale of misery,
Sweet Sacrament of peace,
Sweet Sacrament of peace.

Sweet Sacrament of rest,
Ark from the ocean's roar,
Within thy shelter blest
Soon may we reach the shore;
Save us, for still the tempest raves,
Save, lest we sink beneath the waves:
Sweet Sacrament of rest,
Sweet Sacrament of rest.

Sweet Sacrament divine,
Earth's light and jubilee,
In thy far depths doth shine
The Godhead's majesty;
Sweet light, so shine on us, we pray
That earthly joys may fade away:
Sweet Sacrament divine,
Sweet Sacrament divine.

Francis Stanfield

Four Years Ago: Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face

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