Corpus Christi 2018
The feast of Corpus Christi 2018 is celebrated on Thursday, May 31st in the United States. Corpus Christi does not have a fixed date.
When Do We Celebrate Corpus Christi?
Corpus Christi is celebrated in Roman Catholicism and some other Christian denominations on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost) on the liturgical calendar. The Roman Catholic Church considers Corpus Christi a holy day of obligation. This means that members of the church are obliged to attend mass on this occasion.
In some countries, Corpus Christi is not observed as a holy day of obligation. In these countries, the feast day may be observed on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.
Corpus Christi was added to the church calender at the suggestion of Juliana of Liège, a Belgian woman of the 12th and 13th centuries C.E. who belonged to the Norbertine monastic order. Juliana is said to have wanted a sacred feast day outside of the season of Lent on which to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. She petitioned her local bishop, who instituted the feast starting in the year 1246. It was included on the church calender of the entire Latin church by Pope Urban IV in 1264.
Why Do We Celebrate Corpus Christi?
The Christian feast of Corpus Christi, from the Latin words for “Body of Christ,” honor transubstantiation, or the physical presence of the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Because Protestant churches reject the idea of a literal transubstantiation, the feast is not observed in most Protestant churches.
Masses held on Corpus Christi typically end with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. In this liturgical ceremony, the priest celebrating the mass holds up the host (bread) that has been blessed for the congregation to venerate. At the end of a period of reflection, the priest gives the congregation a blessing.