Sunday, June 22, 2014

Corpus Christi - 1882

Benediction at St. Patrick's, 1920s
Today is the Feast of Corpus Christi.  Few today know the Latin meaning- the Body of Christ.  Even fewer recall the days of processions around the church with “stations” set up for Benediction.  Before Vatican II, the Feast of Corpus Christi was considered a major day of observance and was looked forward to with much anticipation.  Every year until the 1950s, the Sisters of Notre Dame recorded the day’s events in the journal they kept.  The following are excerpts from the journal:
June, 1882-  We had our annual procession which this year was more magnificent than ever.  Over one hundred fifty cadets trained by the Xaverian Brothers and dressed in Our Lady’s colors, white and blue, lent a new charm to the scene.  Thousands of voices blended in one grand harmony chanting the strain of Pange Lingua as the procession wound in and out of the garden walks.  As the procession passed through the street the band played some religious airs and as soon as our Dear Lord once more entered the church the organ pealed forth its grandest strains of welcome.  Here Benediction was given a third time, the entire congregation singing the Tantum Ergo and when all was over the Te Deum was chanted by the thousands (reported to be 10,000) present.

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