National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

A Second-Chance Holy Thursday

User’s Guide to Sunday

BY Tom and April Hoopes

June 7-13, 2009 Issue | Posted 5/29/09 at 2:09 PM

 

Sunday, June 14, is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) in the United States.


Papal

NCRegister.com, the Register’s website, will feature pictures of the event.

Corpus Christi is on Thursday, June 11, throughout the Church. Pope Benedict will celebrate Corpus Christi Mass at St. John Lateran Basilica at 7 p.m. The Mass is followed by a nighttime Eucharistic procession from St. John Lateran to St. Mary Major.


Parish

FaithandFamilyLIVE.com is the website for Faith & Family magazine.

If you’re interested in your own Eucharistic procession but don’t know how to start, check the “Resources” at Faith & Family’s site for instructions.


Family

Make a visit to a church with your children today, and pray in front of the tabernacle. Teach your children to follow an “ACTS” format in prayer.

A- Adoration. (Say, “We love you Jesus and adore you in your Blessed Sacrament”).

C- Contrition. (Say, “We are sorry for ever offending you. Have mercy on us and on the whole world.”)

T- Thanksgiving. (Say, “We thank you for all the gifts you have given us, especially for our family and for our faith and for this church.”)

S- Supplication. (Say, “Please bless the Pope, the bishops, priests and religious, and please bless the sick and hungry.”)

If you took our advice and skipped a Seder meal on Holy Thursday, you might want to do it on Corpus Christi. This can teach about the Last Supper by approximating what it was like. 


Readings

Exodus 24:3-8; Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26


Our Take

Today’s readings spell out the progression of the Eucharistic feast from Moses’ altar to our altar, through Christ’s death and resurrection. St. Paul explains it in detail.

The Vatican’s Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy stresses that Eucharistic devotion should always have reference to the Pasch (the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord) and the Mass.

That’s why the Pope’s Eucharistic procession, and all other Eucharistic processions, begin with Mass. Our own Eucharistic adoration should never take the place of Mass, but it is, in reality, a “continuation of the worship offered at Mass.”

Corpus Christi is like a second Holy Thursday. Holy Thursday is the true and original “Eucharistic day.” But since it is so overwhelmed by the story of Good Friday and Easter, in terms of time commitment and emotional attention, the Church instituted a separate feast on a Thursday shortly after Easter. Americans moved it to a post-Easter Sunday.