Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Whos in Whoville Celebrate Corpus Christi




What is the Feast of Corpus Christi?

A Catholic liturgical solemnity celebrating the real presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the Eucharist, known as transubstantiation. Two months earlier, the Eucharist is observed on Maundy Thursday in a somber atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The feast of Corpus Christi focuses solely on the joy of the Eucharist being the body and blood of Jesus Christ.



What does "Corpus Christi" mean?
"Corpus Christi" is Latin for "Body of Christ"


When is it celebrated?
The Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is nine weeks after Easter.  If and when a diocese is unable to celebrate on Thursday, the feast is held on the following Sunday, as it was for us.





The festivities begin with Holy Mass.  


Afterward, most Latin American Catholic communities have a public procession of the Blessed Sacrament displayed in a monstrance.


Our procession started in the church.  




As Jesus passed, I unexpectedly fell to my knees and wept uncontrollably.  At that moment His presence was so tangible to me that I was unable to contain my emotions. Although this wasn't the first time I had this reaction, it doesn't happen all the time. 

It's so hard to understand or explain.  

Sometimes, during adoration, I feel empty and alone.  Other times I am completely overwhelmed by His presence.  His loving companionship gives me a sense of warmth, peace and sheer joy that is second to none.   





The procession left the church and headed for the plaza, which had been decorated for the occasion.  At each corner there was a large altar with a message of Jesus' love as well as a picture on the ground made out of dyed sawdust.












At our corner there WAS a large monstrance made out of rice and dyed sawdust...at least there was Saturday night.


The evening before the celebration about 25 different groups gathered in the plaza to make eucharistic murals.



Most of them were high school interest groups such as sports teams and clubs, but there were also groups of adults like ours.



The detailed creations were incredible.



Most of the groups began early in the afternoon and worked long after dark.


I'm glad that I thought to take some pictures (even though I was tempted to just wait until Sunday when they would all be done) because Saturday night there were torrential rains that washed most of the sawdust art away.






Although I expected people to be really disappointed, such was not the case.  It reminded me of Christmas morning in the movie The Grinch when the Whos in Whoville sang joyfully despite the fact that all their stuff was gone.





My perception is that everyone was so focused on the Eucharist that the ruined sawdust art was inconsequential.







The groups had lots of fun creating the beautiful artwork for the Lord, who obviously saw it all, and were indifferent to the fact that the attendees wouldn't be able to appreciate all of their efforts. This is a perfect example of how the people here are so laid back and do such a great job of focusing on the positive aspect of every situation.







Our corner was especially beautiful because our team of single women painted a six-foot tall picture of Mary and our missionary friends made a styrofoam belly in which the priest placed the Eucharist during our time of adoration. 


Everything about this celebration was super blessed.  I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to participate in this Latin American tradition and look forward to the opportunity to honor Jesus, who is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, next year during the Feast of Corpus Christi.










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