Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Photos of Corpus Christi Processions

THE GREAT FEAST of Corpus Christi is distinctively marked by a liturgical procession. In contradiction to the modern political ideology that ‘religion is a private matter’ the Church in her wisdom makes this feast of the Eucharist a public celebration.

Here are photos I took this year on this feast. These photos are of somewhat poor quality, and lacking decent audio recording, I cannot represent the hymns, prayers, and litanies sung along these routes. There is nothing like participating yourself!

Sacred Heart in Florissant

Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - procession 5

Saint Thomas Aquinas, the ‘Angelic Doctor’ and my patron, wrote the liturgical texts of this feast, including this sequence in the Latin liturgy, quoted here:
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.
Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - procession 3
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.
Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - procession 4
A Knight of Columbus stands guard over the procession. This is one of the few reminders of the old kind of formality found in Catholic culture, where laymen would wear distinctive (and typically colorful) dress for formal religious occasions, where each uniform indicated membership in a particular confraternity, sodality, or guild.
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!
Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - procession
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.
Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - procession 2
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,
Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - processional altar
A temporary altar along the route, used for benediction.
Dies enim solemnis agitur,
In qua mensae prima recolitur
Hujus institutio.


On this festival divine
Which records the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - devotional shrine along route 2
Some homeowners along the procession route installed little shrines in their yards.
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.
Corpus Christi Procession at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - devotional shrine along route
Vetustatem novitas,
umbram fugat veritas,
Noctem lux eliminat.


Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.
Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, in Florissant, Missouri, USA - exterior from back
Sacred Heart Church.
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;
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory

Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - start of Corpus Christi procession in church 2
Docti sacris institutis,
Panem, vinum, in salutis
Consecramus hostiam.


Wherefore now, with adoration,
We, the Host of our salvation,
Consecrate from bread and wine,
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 2
Christ in the City. The procession goes through an industrial area.
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.
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 1
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,
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 3
Canon Wiener holds the monstrance, shaded by a baldachin, or canopy.
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.
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 5
Procession returning to Saint Francis de Sales Oratory.
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.
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 4
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,
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 6
Altar of benediction.
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,
Saint Francis de Sales Oratory, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - end of Corpus Christi procession in church
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!
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 1
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.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 2
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;
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 3
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.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 4
Procession approaches the Archbishop's mansion.
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;
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 5 (Our Lady of Guadelupe altar)
Altar of benediction in honor of the Virgin Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Guadeloupe.
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.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 6 (Saint John Vianney altar)
Altar of benediction in honor of Saint John Vianney.
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!
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 7 (Sacred Heart altar)
Archbishop Carlson praying before the monstrance, on the Sacred Heart of Jesus altar.
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.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Corpus Christi procession 8 (candlelight procession inside the Cathedral)
The procession, by candlelight, reenters the Cathedral Basilica.

In other times and in other places, the Catholic tradition of public processions is more highly developed; indeed it seems that elaborate processions are found in nearly all cultures throughout history. Religious processions were largely banned by the various Protestant denominations, and so public processions in the United States — parades — are secular in character, even notably many Saint Patrick's Day parades.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! How wonderful to see your new Archbishop leading the flock.

    I love Eucharistic processions, bringing Christ out into the streets accompanied by clouds of incense and heavenly chant. Our parish is in an older neighborhood. So whenever we have a Eucharistic procession, the neighbors sit in their porches and watch us go by. Some of the kids even join us.

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