Corpus Christi Processions
UPDATED: Piqua procession cancelled.
UPDATED: Second May 30 procession added.
Once an important devotional practice throughout the world, Corpus Christi processions seemed destined for the history books for a time… but are fast gaining popularity among younger Catholics who never experienced them in their youth, and older Catholics glad to see them return.
A custom originating in 13th century Belgium, Eucharistic processions marking the local Feast of Corpus Christi quickly spread around Europe and eventually led to the feast day being adopted for the universal Church. St. Thomas Aquinas himself composed the liturgy for the Corpus Christi Mass, including the famous “Pange Lingua” and “Tantum Ergo” prayers.
Originally celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi has been transferred to the following Sunday in the United States. This year, for most Catholic parishes, the Feast of Corpus Christi will be June 2.
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At a Corpus Christi procession, a consecrated Host is paraded through the streets in a monstrance, under a special canopy. People in the procession might sing, pray, or walk silently. Temporary altars are set up at various locations for special prayers. In some parishes, First Communicants wear their formal clothes. Processions end with Benediction, a short liturgy that ends with the Host being returned to (“reposed in”) the Tabernacle
“I believe the Eucharistic procession is a fantastic sign that reminds us of what we are all called to do when we process out of the church after the typical dismissal of Mass,” St. Cecilia (Oakley, OH) pastor Fr. Jamie Weber wrote in last year’s parish bulletin. “What we are called to do with the words spoken to us, and the Eucharist we have just consumed, is to take them out, literally, through our human bodies, into the neighborhoods and into the marketplaces.”
Below are the Corpus Christi processions we know about in our area. If your parish has a procession and is not listed, add your information to the comment box.
Holy Family (Dayton, KY)
Holy Family is a Latin Mass parish that follows the Tridentine calendar, so the Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated on its traditional Thursday date. The procession will begin at the end of the 7 pm Mass.
Old St. Mary’s (Over-the-Rhine, OH)
A Missa Cantata (sung Tridentine Mass) will be celebrated at 7 pm, followed by a short procession through the church.
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Diocese of Covington
The diocese-wide Corpus Christi celebration at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption was revived four years ago by Bishop Roger Foys. All area parishes are invited to participate. This year the Mass will begin at 10 am, followed by Eucharistic adoration from 11 am – 2 pm and the procession at 2 pm. All are then invited to Cross the Bridge for Life, a positive pro-life witness beginning at 3 pm (festivities start at 1:30).
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
The Archdiocese will not have a procession, but will hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains with Archbishop Dennis Schnurr at 3:30 pm.
St. Teresa of Avila and St. William (Price Hill)
The 16th annual Corpus Christi procession from St. Teresa to St. William (approximately one mile) will begin at 2 pm with a prayer service and will end with a reception after Benediction. A bus will participate in the procession for those who can’t walk the distance. The parishes suggest parking in the lot at St. William School; a shuttle bus will transport people to St. Teresa.
Divine Mercy (Bellevue, KY)
The procession will begin after 11 am Mass and will include numerous area stops, each at a temporary altar with its own canopy.
St. Gertrude (Madeira, OH)
The procession will begin after 12:30 pm Mass.
St. Mary and St. Boniface (Piqua, OH)
A planned procession between the two parishes was cancelled on May 17. Instead, St. Boniface will host Adoration from 3-4 pm.
Annunciation (Clifton, OH)
This indoor procession will begin after 11 am Mass and end with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar of St. Joseph/Altar of Exposition, where all are invited to Adoration until 3 pm. A second procession will then return to the main altar for Benediction.
St. Cecilia (Oakley, OH)
The procession will begin after 10 am Mass and proceed through the streets in silent prayer. Click here for our gallery of photos of last year’s Corpus Christi procession at St. Cecilia.
St. Remy (Russia, OH)
The procession will begin at the end of 11 am Mass.
St. Ann (Hamilton, OH)
The procession will begin after Sunday Mass.
Old St. Mary’s (Over-the-Rhine)
The procession will begin after an all-parish 11 am Mass and will proceed around the block to the church garden, then back to the high altar for Benediction.
Holy Angels (Sidney, OH)
The procession will begin after noon Mass and will stop at the parish Resurrection Garden, the local Right to Life office, and a second location on the Church grounds.
St. Clement (St. Bernard, OH)
German-style procession through St. Bernard will begin at 6:30, Exposition and Adoration will begin after 10:30 Mass and will continue until the procession, which will make five stops. Reception follows Benediction.
If your parish has a procession and is not listed, add your information to the comment box below.
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