Corpus Christi

Next Thursday, 19 June 2025

The feast of Corpus Christi will be celebrated on May 30 in 2024. It is observed every year by Christians on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

Corpus Christi  is a Latin term that literally translates to 'body of Christ'. It is believed that the bread and wine used during holy communion or The Eucharist represents the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is a special way of celebrating and feeling the presence of Jesus on earth. 

The feast of Corpus Christi is a religious observance and not a public day.

Corpus Christi

History Behind The feast of Corpus Christi: A Feast for the Soul

Catholics believed that there should be a day to celebrate the divinity of Jesus Christ's Body and Blood. That is why Italian priest St. Thomas Aquinas suggested to Pope Urban IV that a Feast Day should be celebrated with the sole focus on the Holy Eucharist. 

Eucharist is another word for the Holy communion, emphasizing the belief that Jesus is present in the bread and wine. The story goes back to the Last Supper where Jesus and his disciples shared a meal consisting of bread and wine.

One significant part of Maundy Thursday was celebrating the Eucharist which also included the elements of washing the feet and commitment to the priesthood. 

After confirming the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, Pope Urban IV established the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. He wanted it to be celebrated throughout the Roman Catholic Churches.

A few centuries later, Pope Pius V amended the General Roman Calendar and kept only two feasts of devotion - Corpus Christi and Trinity Sunday. 

Corpus Christi is represented by consecrated bread and a chalice, which symbolize the Holy Eucharist.

What is the Eucharist

The Eucharist also known as the holy communion is one of the most sacred rites of the Christian Church. 

It has its origins in the Last Supper when Jesus offered his disciples bread and wine as a symbol of his body and blood. This was a direct order from Jesus to continue this ritual in his memory. 

Jesus Christ With Wine and Bread

The Eucharist then becomes one of the most important moments during mass, where sacramental bread and wine are consecrated at an altar.

These are consumed after Communion. While doing so, the congregation is meant to reflect on the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. 

How Corpus Christi Is Observed

Corpus Christi is a holy day of obligations, which means that those of the Christian faith must participate in the Mass.

  • An annual Corpus Christi procession takes place annually where many parishioners participate. 
Corpus Christi Procession
Corpus Christi Procession    Image By Lawrence OP, CC 2.0, unedited
  • Churches and altars are beautifully decorated with flowers, tapestries and banners. In some traditions, four additional altars are set up along the procession ro hute. These are often elaborately decorated with flowers, fabrics, and religious imagery.
Altar decoration on Corpus Christi
Altar Decoration on Corpus Christi   Image By Lawrence OP, CC 2.0, unedited
  • Gospel readings take place, and people dress up in their festive communion attires.
  • Catholics must receive their communion on this day, and children often receive their first communion during Corpus Christi. 

In 1519, upon arriving at a bay on the territory of Texas, explorer Alonzo Pineda gave the new city the name of Corpus Christi. 

You might like to read these next:

Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi - Next years

Thursday, 04 June 2026

Thursday, 27 May 2027

Thursday, 15 June 2028

How many days until?

Select the event: