FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI
DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS / WHITE
The Body of Christ which centers our worship in this feast is a Sacrificed, Crucified Body. The Eucharist is always first of all a Sacrifice that is offered again and again by Christ in each Mass, through His ordained ministers.
Out of the broken body of the God-Man was born the Church that channels His life to men. The main channel of divine life is the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Jesus gives His own Body and Blood to preserve and increase the Christ-life in Christians and to make them all divinely one in Himself.
INTROIT Ps. 80:17He fed them with the finest wheat, alleluia! and filled them with honey from the rock, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Ps. 80:2. Sing joyfully to God, our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, we possess a lasting memorial of Your Passion in this wondrous Sacrament. Grant that we may so venerate the mysteries of Your Body and Blood that we may always feel within ourselves the effects of Your redemption; who lives and rules with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
EPISTLE I Cor. 11:23-29
Breathren: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto 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 the chalice, you shall shew 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 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.
GRADUAL Ps. 144:15-16
The eyes of all look hopefully to You, O Lord, and You give them food in due season.
V. You open Your hand and fill every living creature with blessing.
Alleluia, alleluia! V. John 6:56-57
My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him, alleluia!
Sion, lift thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King;
Praise with hymns thy Shepherd true:
Dare thy most to praise Him well;
For He doth all praise excel;
None can ever reach His due.
Special theme of praise is thine,
That true living Bread divine,
That life-giving flesh adored,
Which the brethren twelve received,
As most faithfully believed,
At the Supper of the Lord.
Let the chant be loud and high;
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt to-day in every breast;
On this festival divine
Which recounts the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
At this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite;
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.
His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
In His memory divine;
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We the Host of our salvation
Consecrate from bread and wine.
Hear what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending,
Leaps to things not understood.
Here in outward signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things, are all we see:-
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine;
Yet is Christ, in either sign,
All entire confessed to be.
They too who of Him partake
Sever not, nor rend, nor break,
But entire their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the selfsame meat,
Nor the less for others leave.
Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food;
But with ends how opposite!
Here 'tis life; and there 'tis death;
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.
Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form,
The Signified remaining One
And the Same forevermore
Lo! upon the Altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Angels' Bread from Paradise
Made the food of mortal man:
Children's meat to dogs denied;
In old types foresignified;
In the manna from the skies,
In Isaac, and the Paschal Lamb.
Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thy true flock in safety keep.
Living Bread! Thy life supply;
Strengthen us, or else we die;
Fill us with celestial grace:
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.
GOSPEL John 6:56-59
At that time, Jesus said to the crowds of the Jews: "For 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."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Lev. 21:6
The priests of the Lord offer incense and loaves to God; therefore they shall be sacred to their God and shall not profane His name, alleluia!
O Lord, graciously bestow upon Your Church the gifts of unity and peace, which are symbolized in this Sacrifice we offer You. Through our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON I Cor. 11:26-27
As often as you shall eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, alleluia!
O Lord, grant that we may enjoy the eternal presence of Your divinity, which is foreshadowed by our earthly reception of Your Precious Body and Blood; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .
The procession usually takes place immediately after high Mass. Sometimes,
however, it is held as a separate ceremony in the afternoon.