The Theology & Symbolism
of the Corpus Christi Procession

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The Corpus Christi Procession. The importance of such a ritual gesture cannot be underestimated, for it involves bringing God literally into the community, through the streets and passages where people live and work. It is a literal, not symbolic, ritual that sacralizes common space and echoes the mystery of Catholic incarnational theology: the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The Feast of Corpus Christi reminds the faithful that the quarantining of the Sacred within the church structure (a common feature of Reformation Protestant theology) is impossible. This theological ritual insists that God erupts amidst and dwells among us.

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The Eucharist. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy begins Chapter 2, "The Most Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist," with the following:

"At the Last Supper, on the night when he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ in consumed, the mind is willed with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us." [1323, 1398]

The Eucharistic celebration is a holy meal which recalls the Last Supper. In the Eucharist, Christ the Lord nourishes Christians, not only with His word but especially with His Body and Blood, effecting a transformation which impels them toward greater love of God and neighbor. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the perpetual sacrifice of the New Covenant in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is made sacramentally yet truly present.


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Some Eucharistic texts adapted from St. Joseph Catholic Manual, Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1994 & Handbook for Today's Catholic, Liguori Publications, 1994.