We are celebrating Corpus Christi on Thursday and it will be the first time we’ve celebrated it with a Choral Eucharist in a long time.

I noticed about a year ago that we were doing better at keeping the more introspective and gloomy feasts than the glorious. We were doing well at repenting of our sins at Ash Wednesday and mourning our dead on All Souls than we were at simply enjoying ourselves. Thus, it seemed a good idea to revive the keeping of Corpus Christi – a celebration that is pure gold and good will.

The essence of the festival is that it is a celebration of the giving of the Eucharist to the church. We should, of course naturally celebrate that on Maundy Thursday, but we get too caught up in the Holy Week dramas for that, and so a special day is set aside – the Thursday after Trinity Sunday to celebrate and enjoy the giving of the gift of the Eucharist.

The keeping of the Feast has tended to be marked particularly by processions. There are some good pics on Flickr of outdoor processions of the Blessed Sacrament. We’ll not manage anything like that, but there will be rose petals strewn as the sacrament is processed in glory around the church.

We then get some gazing time. Allowing our eyes to rest on the blessed sacrament and reflecting on God’s presence in the world and the love that flows between God and the world.

Then at the end of the service, instead of a spoken blessing, the people are blessed with the sacrament (Benediction). There has been something of a revival of Benediction in the diocese in recent years, and St Mary’s is coming later to it than others who have been leading the way. I tend to like Benediction because the music is good and its a way of praying that is not simply about what your brain is thinking. Much more visual and auditory than cerebral. Indeed, it works best when you don’t analyze it too much.

It should feel as though the very gates of heaven are open and all the world is a-tremble with the presence of God.

We’ll see what we can do….


  1. Elizabeth says

    Any idea how long the service will be? I very much want to attend after pestering for a CC service for years, but baby’s bedtime is challenging and may not allow for evening out.

    • I should think between about an hour and an hour and 10 mins, but it is hard to judge since I’ve not done it before. Some of the first parts of the service are curtailed, but there is more after communion than usual. I’m guessing it will turn out about the same length as a Sunday morning service but really, I just can’t be sure.

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