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Corpus Christi: understand the meanings of Christian solemnity

Corpus Christi: understand the meanings of Christian solemnity

The Eucharist is part of one of the main rites of the Catholic liturgy. In masses and celebrations held daily around the world, the faithful receive the consecrated host, which represents the body and blood of Christ.

the solemnity of Corpus Christi , celebrated this Thursday (8), commemorates the institution of the Eucharist. Christian tradition emphasizes that, at the Last Supper, Jesus Christ shared bread and wine with his disciples. According to the biblical writings, Jesus stated: “This is my Body, given for you”, “this is the chalice of my blood… shed for you…” and goes on to “do this in remembrance of me.”

Corpus Christi is a moving date, which always takes place on the Thursday following the Sunday of the Holy Trinity, celebrated a week after Pentecost Sunday.

The Eucharist represents the highest point of a Catholic mass or celebration. For the faithful, receiving the consecrated host means the closest moment in communion with the figure of Christ. Catholics line up, receive the Eucharist and gather in prayer, usually kneeling and with their eyes closed, as a sign of respect and devotion.

On the holiday, churches across the country hold processions, following the recommendation of the Code of Canon Law. Cardinal Orani João Tempesta explains that the origin of the solemnity of the body and blood of Christ dates back to the 13th century, having been instituted by Pope Urban IV (1262-1264).

“Urban IV, before being chosen Pope, was Canon of Liége (Belgium) and was called Tiago Pantaleão de Troyes, the same one who received the secret of the visions of the nun Juliana de Liége, who asked for a feast of the Holy Eucharist in the liturgical calendar. This solemnity enters the liturgical calendar of the Church to highlight and emphasize the real presence of the Lord Jesus in the consecrated bread and chalice”, says the cardinal in a statement from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB).

The religious points out that the feast of Corpus Christi is an invitation to meditate on the value and importance of the Eucharist in the lives of Christians.

“We see that the one who asked us throughout time and history to celebrate the Eucharist was Christ himself. The Catholic Church fulfills this mandate to this day, to perpetuate the saving presence of Jesus in history”, says Tempesta.

The cardinal claims that the most evident biblical text on the doctrine of the Eucharist is chapter 6 of Saint John. “The whole of it is a Eucharistic discourse of Jesus who said ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him’. The Eucharist is the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus who said: ‘Behold, I will be with you until the end of the age’”, he says.

carpet tradition

The solemnity of Corpus Christi is also marked by the ornamentation of colorful carpets throughout the cities.

“In many cities, it is customary to decorate the streets where the procession passes with brightly colored carpets and religiously inspired designs. This long-standing festivity is a tradition in Brazil, especially in historic cities, which are covered in ancient and traditional practices and which are embellished with decorations according to local customs”, says Tempesta.

The faithful gather at dawn to prepare the carpets, made from materials such as coffee grounds, flour, sand, salt, sawdust, as well as bottle caps, sugarcane bagasse, rice husks, flowers and leaves.

“On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi we wish to praise and thank the Eucharistic Jesus for his presence among us in this sacrament and we offer him the best we have, through precious monstrances, worthy tabernacles in our temples and streets adorned with beautiful religious symbols”, says Dom Aloísio A. Dilli, bishop of Santa Cruz do Sul, in Rio Grande do Sul, in a statement.

(With information from CNBB)

Source: CNN Brasil