LEWISTON — In honor of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (also known as the Feast of Corpus Christi), parishes around the Diocese of Portland have planned celebrations, Eucharistic processions, and special events for the week of June 18.

The Feast of Corpus Christi (translated from Latin to “Body of Christ”) originated in 1246 and was extended to the whole Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. The Feast of Corpus Christi recalls the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper. While the Last Supper is also commemorated on Holy Thursday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ focuses solely on the gift of the Eucharist. The mood is also more joyous than that felt on Holy Thursday, the day before Christ’s passion and death.

In the United States, the Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. This year, it is June 18. It serves as a sign of common faith, adoration, and acknowledgement that worship of Jesus calls to offer a pledge of undivided love and offering to the service of others.

The feast is often marked by Eucharistic processions, during which the Blessed Sacrament is carried in a monstrance through the church and into the streets. Many also spend time in Eucharistic adoration on the solemnity. 

On Sunday, June 18, Prince of Peace Parish will hold its annual Corpus Christi procession, beginning at the conclusion of the 10 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul on 122 Ash St.

The procession will go down Ash Street, turn right on Blake Street, turn right on College Street, along Bartlett Street, and conclude in the basilica chapel with Benediction.

If it is difficult to walk in procession, the elevator may be taken from the church to the basilica chapel at the end of Mass where the procession will join.

In the event of rain, the procession will go directly from the church to the chapel.

FMI: 207-321-7810, dave.guthro@portlanddiocese.org.

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