This Sunday’s celebration of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is more commonly referred to as Corpus Christi (or to give it the full title Corpus et Sanguis Christi). It is the day on which we can give thanks for the gift of The Eucharist – the commemoration of The Last Supper, when Jesus broke bread and shared wine with his disciples. As Matthew’s Gospel recounts: “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread , and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them , saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” These are the Words of Institution (or Words of Consecration) that the priest says during the Mass; repeating the same words that Jesus used at The Last Supper. Perhaps, one may argue, that we don’t need to keep the Feast of Corpus Christi, since we remember this special gift every time we come to Mass! But it it such a special gift, that we can never say “thank you” enough. So having a special date on which to do it seems like a very good idea. As John’s Gospel reminds us on Sunday:
“Jesus replied: … For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.”
You may have heard on the news and in the media that there are some changes due to take place regarding access to churches. From Monday 15th June, it will be possible to St. Mary’s, Kenton, FOR INDIVIDUAL / PRIVATE PRAYER ONLY. St. Anselm will remain closed for the moment.
This is not a return to anything like “normal” and there will not be opportunites to join in collective worship. St Mary’s will be open at SET TIMES. These will be published on the web-site.
It is a START and we should give thanks for this small concession and pray for a gradual increase in access, until we can once again join together and celebrate the gift of The Eucharist as one body in Christ.
As a special treat for Corpus Christi, there will be Evening Prayer, Benediction and Te Deum at 4.00pm on Sunday afternoon. Please come and join us online.
David Griffiths (St. Mary’s)