PROPER OF THE SEASON

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FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI

Double of the First Class Feast          White Vestments

        Editor's Note: All Scriptural Readings are taken from the Douay-Rheims version of the Latin Vulgate Bible. The preface commentaries are a combination of thoughts from various sources. Red type indicates Our Lord's direct words in Holy Scripture. Italicized Maroon type indicates Latin with priests' refrain and server's response in bold..

        This feast is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday and is the feast where we celebrate the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar - the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ confected in the Roman Canon of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the most sacred Consecration.
        There are indulgenced ejaculations which express admirably the scope and purpose of this feast such as "May our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament be praised, adored and loved, with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time" and "O Sacrament most holy! O Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!"
        The traditional custom is the Corpus Christi procession in which the faithful manifest their Faith to the world by marching behind the Blessed Sacrament held aloft in a Monstrance by the priest while processing outside the church.
        The feast of Corpus Christi commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Formerly celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, it paralleled Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), which also commemorates Our Lord's institution of the Eucharist. Because Holy Thursday is in Holy Week, a season of sadness the celebration Corpus Christi was introduced so that the faithful would not lose sight of the institution of the Holy Eucharist.
        Corpus Christi became a mandatory feast in the Roman Church in 1312. But nearly a century earlier, Saint Juliana of Mont Cornillon, promoted a feast to honor the Blessed Sacrament. From early age Juliana, who became an Augustinian nun in Liége, France, in 1206, had a great veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and longed for a special feast in its honor. She had a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. She made known her ideas to the Bishop of Liége, Robert de Thorete, to the Dominican Hugh who later became cardinal legate in the Netherlands, and to Jacques Panaléon, at the time Archdeacon of Liége and who later became Pope Urban IV. Bishop Robert de Thorete ordered that the feast be celebrated in his diocese.
        Pope Urban IV later published the Papal Bull Transiturus (September 8, 1264), in which, after having extolled the love of Our Savior as expressed in the Holy Eucharist, ordered the annual celebration of Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. More than four decades later, Pope Clement V published a new decree which embodied Urban IV's decree and ordered the adoption of the feast at the General Council of Vienna (1311). Pope John XXII, successor of Clement V, urged this observance.
        The processions on Corpus Christi to honor the Holy Eucharist were not mentioned in the decrees, but had become a principal feature of the feast's celebration by the faithfl, and became a tradition throughout Europe. These processions were endowed with indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV.

    Source: Marian Missal and St. Andrew Daily Missal and 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia

Readings for the Feast of CORPUS CHRISTI

INTROIT:
      [Psalm 80: 17] (Cibavit eos ). He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia: and filled them with honey out of the rock. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (Psalm 80: 2) Rejoice to God our helper; sing aloud to the God of Jacob. Glory be to the Father... He fed them with...
Kyrie... and Gloria

Dominus Vobiscum.
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.

COLLECT:
     O God, who under a wonderful sacrament hast left us a memorial of Thy Passion; grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy body and blood, that we may ever feel within us the fruit of thy redemtion. Who livest and reignest with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

EPISTLE:
      (1 Corinthians 11: 23-29) Brethren, I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat; this is my body which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This Chalice is the New Testament in my blood: this do' ye; as often as you shall drink., for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink this chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until he come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink of the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

Deo Gratias.

GRADUAL
     [Psalm 144: 15-16]

The eyes of all hope in Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them meat in due season. V. Thou openest Thy hand, and fillest every living creature with Thy blessing. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (John 6. 56-57) My Flesh is meat indeed and My Blood is drink indeed: he that eateth My Flesh and drinkety My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in Him. Alleluia.

SEQUENCE

     Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem,
Lauda ducem et pastorem,
In hymnis et canticis.
     Sion, lift thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King,
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true.
     Quantum potes, tantum aude;
Quia major omni laude,
Nec laudare sufficis.
     All thou canst, do thou endeavor,
Yet thy praise can equal never
Such as merits thy great King.
     Laudis thema specialis,
Panis vivus et vitalis,
Hodie proponitur.
     See today before us laid
The living and life-giving Bread!
Theme for praise and joy profound!
     Quem in sacrae mensa coenae,
Turbae fratrum duodenae,
Datum non ambigitur.
     The same which at the sacred board
Was, by our incarnate Lord,
Giv'n to His Apostels round.
     Sit laus plena, sit sonora;
Sit jucunda, sit decora
Mentis jubilatio.
     Let the praise by loud and high:
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt today in every breast,
     Dies enim solemnis agitur,
In qua mensae prima recolitur
Hujus institutio.
     On this festival divine
Which records the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
     In hac mensa novi Regis,
Novum Pasha novae legis
Phase vetus terminat.
     On this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite.
     Vetustatem novitas,
umbram fugat veritas,
Noctem lux eliminat.
     Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.
     Quod in coena Christus gessit,
Faciendum hoc espressit
In sui memoriam.
     His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordain'd to be repeated,
In His memory divine;
     Docti sacris institutis,
Panem, vinum, in salutis
Consecramus hostiam.
     Wherefore now, with adoration,
We, the Host of our salvation,
Consecrate from bread and wine,
     Dogma datur Christianis,
Quod in carnem transit panis,
Et vinum in sanguinem.
     Hear what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
     Quod non capis, quod non vides,
Animosa firmat fides,
Praeter rerum ordinem.
     Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending
Leaps to things not understood,
     Sub diversis speciebus,
Signis tantum, et non rebus,
Latent res eximiae.
     Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden
Signs, not things, are all we see.
     Caro cibus, sanguis potus;
Manet tamen Christus totus
Sub utraque specie.
     Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
Yet is Christ in either sign,
All entire, confessed to be.
     A sumente non concisus,
Non confractus, non divisus,
Integer accipitur.
     They, who of Him here partake,
Sever not, nor rend, nor break:
But, entire, their Lord receive,
     Sumit unus, sumunt mille:
Quantum isti, tantum ille:
Nec sumptus consumitur.
     Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the self-same meat,
Nor the less for others leave,
     Sumunt boni, sumunt mali,
Sorte tamen inaequali
Vitae vel interitus.
     Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food;
But with ends how opposite!
     Mors et malis, vita bonis:
Vide paris sumptionis
Quam sit dispar exitus.
     Here 'tis life: and there 'tis death:
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.
     Fracto demum sacramento,
Ne vacilles, sed memento
Tantum esse sub fragmento
Quantum toto tegitur.
     Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
     Nulla rei fit scissura:
Signi tantum fit fractura:
Qua nec status nec statura
Signati minuitur.
     Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The signified remaining one
And the same for evermore.
     Ecce panis Angelorum,
Factus cibus viatorum,
Vere panis filiorum.
Non mittendus canibus.
     Lo! upon the altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Bread of Angels from the skies,
Made the food of mortal man;
     In figuris praesignatur,
Cum Isaac immolatur:
Agnus paschae deputatur;
Datur manna patribus.
     Children's meat to dogs denied,
In old types presignified:
In the manna heaven-supplied
In Isaac, and the Paschal lamb.
     Bone pastor, panis vere,
Jesu, nostri miserere:
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere,
Tu nos bona fac videre
In terra viventium.
     Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thou Thy flock in safety keep,
Living Bread! Thy life supply:
Strengthen us, or else we die:
Fill us with celestial grace!
     Tu, qui cuncta scis et vales,
Qui nos pascis hic mortales,
Tuos ibi commensales,
Cohaeredes et sodales,
Fac Sanctorum civium.
     Thou, who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the feast of love,
We may see Thee face to face.
     Amen. Alleluia.      Amen. Alleluia.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum N...
Gloria tibi, Domine.

GOSPEL:
      (John 6: 56-59) At this time, Jesus saith to the multitudes of the Jews: "My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever."
Laus tibi, Christe.

Dominus Vobiscum.
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.

OFFERTORY:
     (Leviticus 21: 6) The priests of the Lord offer incense and loaves to God, and therefore they shall be holy to their God, and shall not defile His Name. Alleluia.

SECRET:
      Graciously bestow on Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts of unity and peace, which are mystically shown forth in the gifts now offered. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God... Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

PREFACE FOR CORPUS CHRISTI

    Dominus Vobiscum.
    Et cum spiritu tuo.
    Sursum Corda
    Habemus ad Dominum
    Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
    Dignum et justum est.
Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: Quia per incarnati Verbi mysterium nova mentis nostrae oculis lux tuae claritatis infulsit: ut, dum visibiliter Deum cognoscimus, per hunc in invisibilum amorem rapiamur. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militai coelestis exercitus, hymnum gloriae tuae canimus sine fine dicentes:

SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS...

It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love of things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Throne and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY...

COMMUNION:
     (1 Corinthians 11: 26-27) As often as you shall eat this Bread, and drink the Chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until He come: therefore whosoever shall eat this Bread or drink the Chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Alleluia.

Dominus Vobiscum.
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.

POSTCOMMUNION:
      Make us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to be filled with the eternal enjoyment of Thy Divinity, which is prefigured by the reception in this life of Thy precious Body and Blood. Who liveth and reigneth with God the Father, in unity with the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


For the Prayers at the End of the Low Mass, see Leonine Prayers


Novena Preceding the Feast of the Sacred Heart

    To all the faithful who devoutly participate at a public novena held in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, whether this exercise is to be held immediately before the Feast or at another time of the year, is granted: Indulgence of 10 years each day. -- Plenary, if they were present at least five times at these exercises, after Confession, Communion, and a prayer for the intention of that the Pope will be in full accord with God's holy will for His Church.

    To those, however, who perform privately these pious exercises with the intention to do so nine consecutive days, is granted: Indulgence of 7 years, once a day. -- Plenary, on the usual conditions, for the complete novena, if they are hindered by any reasonable cause from performing these exercises in public. -- P.P.O. n. 218.]


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