Corpus Christi

Pange, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
Quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex intacta Virgine,
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semine,
Sui moras incolatus
Miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte cenae
Recumbens cum fratribus,
Observata lege plene
Cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbae duodenae
Se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro panem verum
Verbo carnem efficit;
Fitque sanguis Christi merum;
Et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum
Sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui;
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui;
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio. Amen.

It is the feast of Corpus Christi, a celebration of Christ's Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Tomorrow is the feast, but tonight is first vespers. Corpus Christi is held on a Thursday to associate it with Christ's having instituted the Eucharist on a Thursday. In the OF, it is moved by several bishops' conferences to the following Sunday, because, again, heaven forbid anyone attend Mass on a day other than Sunday. Because of the USCCB moving it in this way, I've just said first vespers in the EF, so that I can celebrate the feast on its proper day to the extent of my ability. It really is a shame that the bishops choose to move it. The Office makes it pretty clear that it is proper to a Thursday. When the first Proper part of the office is "Christ the Lord, Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech, offered bread and wine.", there's a slight indication that this has something to do with Maundy Thursday. Moving this feast to a Sunday largely obscures the beautiful meaning and symbolism of the words we pray in the Divine Office.

I will be attending Mass in the OF on Sunday, and two of my students, Gabriela and David, will be receiving First Communion. Please pray for them. Their prep was a bit fast, but they know the essentials of canon law, and I am confident I have satisfied the precepts of canon 913.

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