Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Corpus Christi Procession at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

The main Corpus Christi procession this year in Saint Louis was on Sunday, June 18th, 2006 at the Cathedral Basilica.

Saint Louis's Latin Rite Catholic cathedral, dating from 1917, with the exterior done in the Romanesque style.

The front door, decorated for the Feast.

The side of the cathedral, showing the semicircular drum of the west transept.

High-ranking Knights of Columbus, in ceremonial costume, wait in the narthex.

The mosaics here show the life of the Saint, King Louis IX of France, after whom the City of Saint Louis was named.

A view inside of the cathedral basilica. Unlike the exterior, the inside is in the Byzantine style and is covered with mosaics. In the background is All Souls Chapel, decorated in black granite, and is built above the tombs of several of the bishops of the Archdiocese.

A view of the sanctuary.

Archbishop Burke giving the homily.

The idea for a joyful Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ in the Eucharist) was started by a nun, St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon, in Belgium. Her idea suitably impressed the Bishop of Liège, who ordered a Mass for that occasion. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the Office for this feast, which was considered one of the most beautiful in the calendar.

The procession. I only went half a block because of pain from a twisted ankle. Faithful Catholics in centuries past would go travel on pilgrimage for many miles on their knees.

Here is a short video of the start of the procession. Warning: the "YouTube" video hosting site contains lots of junk.

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