Thursday, June 15, 2017
The Feast of Corpus Christi
The Feast of Corpus Christi, commemorating the Blessed Sacrament, is observed either on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, or on the following Sunday (generally for convenience).
The feast dates from thirteenth century Belgium, where Juliana of Liege had long believed that such a commemoration should be observed outside Maundy Thursday, during Lent. When she became prioress of the religious community where she lived, she was able to spread her idea more widely through her contact with her (male) confessor, and eventually it was adopted by Pope Urban IV in 1261. It is not part of the Protestant tradition because it was suppressed during the Reformation.
Bread of heav'n, on thee we feed,
for thou art our food indeed.
Ever may our souls be fed
with this true and living bread,
day by day with strength supplied
through the life of Christ who died.
Vine of heav'n, thy love supplies
this blest cup of sacrifice.
'Tis thy wounds our healing give;
to thy cross we look and live.
Thou our life! O let us be
rooted, grafted, built on thee.
Josiah Conder, 1824; alt.
Tune: NUTBOURNE (18.104.22.168.7.7.)
Theodore Aylward, 1869
Said to be the most widely-used of Conder's texts (though we have previously seen others here - click on his tag below), this one first appeared in his collection Star of the East (1824) and later in his Congregational Hymn Book (1836).
Nine (Liturgical) Years Ago: Here, O my God, I see thee face to face
Five (Liturgical) Years Ago: Sweet Sacrament divine
Two (Liturgical) Years Ago: Ave verum corpus - Saint-Saens (video)