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Feast of Corpus Christi
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Feast of Corpus Christi
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"Corpus Domini" redirects here. For other uses, see Corpus Domini (disambiguation).
Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Corpus Christi procession. Oil on canvas by Carl Emil Doepler.
Official name Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Also called Corpus Domini
Observed by as a public holiday in Austria, Brazil, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, parts of Germany, Grenada, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Monaco, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Philippines, Saint Lucia, San Marino, parts of Spain, parts of Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago
Date Thursday after Trinity Sunday; 60 days after Easter, or the Sunday immediately following this
2021 date June 3
2022 date June 16
2023 date June 8 2024 date May 30 Frequency annual
Rock of the Eucharistic Miracle in Bolsena (1253)
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Ecclesiastical Latin: , lit. 'Day of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ the Lord'), also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is a Christian liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist; it is observed by the Roman Catholic Church, in addition to certain Western Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican churches. Two months earlier, the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper is observed on Maundy Thursday in a sombre atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ's washing of the disciples' feet, the institution of the priesthood, and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The feast of Corpus Christi was proposed by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, to Pope Urban IV, in order to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist, emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Having recognized in 1264 the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, on input of Aquinas, the pontiff, then living in Orvieto, established the feast of Corpus Christi as a Solemnity and extended it to the whole Roman Catholic Church.
The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, "where the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a holy day of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day".
At the end of Holy Mass, there is often a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, generally displayed in a monstrance. The procession is followed by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. A notable Eucharistic procession is that presided over by the Pope each year in Rome, where it begins at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and passes to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where it concludes with the aforementioned Benediction. Corpus Christi wreaths, which are made of flowers, are hung on the doors and windows of the Christian faithful, in addition to being erected in gardens and fields.
The celebration of the feast was suppressed in Protestant churches during the Reformation for theological reasons: outside Lutheranism, which maintained the confession of the Real Presence, many Protestants denied the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist other than as a merely symbolic or spiritual presence. Today, most Protestant denominations do not recognize the feast day, with exception of certain Lutheran churches and the Church of England, the latter of which abolished it in 1548 as the English Reformation progressed, but later reintroduced it. Some Anglican churches now observe Corpus Christi, sometimes under the name "Thanksgiving for Holy Communion".
1.1 Juliana of Liège
2.1 Roman Catholic Church
2.2 Anglicanism 2.3 Other churches 2.4 Lutheranism 2.5 Calvinism 2.6 Folk traditions 2.6.1 England 2.6.2 Peru 2.6.3 Spain 18.104.22.168 Andalucia
22.214.171.124 Castile-La Mancha
126.96.36.199 Castile and León
188.8.131.52 Catalonia 3 Date 4 See also 5 References 6 External links
Juliana of Liège
Stained glass window in the Saint Mary Basilica in Tongeren
The institution of Corpus Christi as a feast in the Christian calendar resulted from approximately forty years of work on the part of Juliana of Liège, a 13th-century Norbertine canoness, also known as Juliana de Cornillon, born in 1191 or 1192 in Liège, Belgium, a city where there were groups of women dedicated to Eucharistic worship. Guided by exemplary priests, they lived together, devoted to prayer and to charitable works. Orphaned at the age of five, she and her sister Agnes were entrusted to the care of the Augustinian nuns at the convent and leprosarium of Mont-Cornillon, where Juliana developed a special veneration for the Blessed Sacrament.
What are the Holy Days of Obligation?
According to the Code of Canon Law, Sunday, the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, is always observed as the foremost holy day of obligation for the universal Church. (The obligation involved is simply the duty to attend … Continued
What are the Holy Days of Obligation?
According to the , Sunday, the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, is always observed as the foremost holy day of obligation for the universal Church. (The obligation involved is simply the duty to attend Mass on that day.) The Code also lists ten other holy days of obligation: Christmas; the Epiphany; the Ascension of our Lord; the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ); the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; Mary’s Immaculate Conception; her Assumption; the Solemnity of St. Joseph; the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul; and All Saints Day. The Code notes that the conference of bishops can reduce the number of holy days of obligation or transfer them to Sunday with the approval of the Holy Father. (Confer the , #1246.)
In the United States, the Epiphany is transferred to the Sunday after January 1, and Corpus Christi is transferred to the second Sunday after Pentecost. At their November, 1991 meeting, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States decided to retain as holy days of obligation the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1), Ascension Thursday (40 days after Easter), the Assumption of Mary (August 15), All Saints Day (November 1), the Immaculate Conception (December 8), and Christmas (December 25). However, whenever the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; the Assumption; or All Saints Day falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the obligation to attend Mass is dispensed, meaning that the day is still a “holy day” but a person is not required to attend Mass. For example, if Christmas falls on a Saturday, the obligation remains to attend Mass; on the other hand, if the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (January 1) also falls on a Saturday, it remains a holy day but without the obligation to attend Mass. The Vatican confirmed this decision on July 4, 1992, and it became effective on January 1, 1993.
Nevertheless, we should not forget the importance of these holy days, whether or not there is the “legal” obligation to attend Mass. The of the Second Vatican Council stated, “Thus recalling the mysteries of the redemption, [the Church] opens up to the faithful the riches of her Lord’s powers and merits, so that these are in some way made present for all time; the faithful lay hold of them and are filled with saving grace” (#102). Therefore, the importance of attending Mass on Sunday or any other holy day is not simply because of an obligation, but it is an obligation. Our lives are so busy, and we face so many distractions. We could lose sight of God or become numb to His presence. Maybe we do have to sacrifice to attend Mass by rearranging our schedule or suffering some inconvenience to the normal course of life. So what? Our cherishing the mysteries of our salvation should take precedence over the exigencies of living in this world. Remember at the Last Supper, Jesus reminded the apostles that while they live in the world, they are not this world (John 17:13-19). The holy days help us to remember the same. Therefore, we must pause to ponder, celebrate, and live the mystery of salvation by marking each Sunday, these special holy events, and the lives of those who are exemplars of faith with the offering of the Holy Mass.
St. Stephen’s Day
Feast of Corpus Christi, also called Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, festival of the Roman Catholic Church in honour of the real presence of the body (corpus) of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. A movable observance, it is observed on the Thursday (or, in some countries, the Sunday) after Trinity Sunday and is a holy day of obligation in many countries. The Feast of Corpus Christi originated in 1246 when Robert de Torote, bishop of Liège, ordered the festival celebrated in his diocese. He was persuaded to initiate the feast by St. Juliana, prioress of
St. Stephen’s Day
Alternate titles: Boxing Day, Constitution Day, Wren Day
By The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica • Edit History
St. Stephen See all media
Related Topics: Boxing Day December
See all related content →St. Stephen’s Day, also called Boxing Day, Wren Day, or Constitution Day, one of two holidays widely observed in honour of two Christian saints. In many countries December 26 commemorates the life of St. Stephen, a Christian deacon in Jerusalem who was known for his service to the poor and his status as the first Christian martyr (he was stoned to death in AD 36). In Hungary August 20 is observed in honour of King Stephen of Hungary, who united the country under Christianity in AD 1000 and was canonized in 1083 for his accomplishment.
In the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, the December 26 holiday is commonly known as Boxing Day, which takes its name from the practice of giving small gifts to household servants on that day for their work throughout the year. In Ireland the holiday is sometimes called Wren Day, because in the past a wren would be killed and taken door-to-door by children asking for money in exchange for a wren’s feather, which people believed brought good luck. The tradition of going house-to-house on St. Stephen’s Day survives in many countries, especially in Scandinavia, where the day is observed by visiting friends and going to parties.
In Hungary August 20 is celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day in commemoration of when the saint’s relics—held sacred by Hungarian Catholics—were transferred to Buda (now part of Budapest). In 1949 the country’s communist regime promulgated a new constitution on that day with the intent of transforming the Christian-themed holiday into a politically inspired one, which they renamed Constitution Day. Following the collapse of the communist state in Hungary, however, the holiday was again celebrated as St. Stephen’s Day. One ritual entails carrying the case containing the relics of St. Stephen’s right hand in processions throughout the streets of Budapest. More modern festivities include fireworks and parades.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaThis article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn.