Renewing an ancient European tradition that dates to the 13th century, the parishioners of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine will hold their annual Corpus Christi Procession this Sunday, June 7. It will begin following a Solemn Mass at 11 a.m. Rev. Thomas Willis, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine will be the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass and the procession.
Corpus Christi is Latin for “The Body of Christ.” The Corpus Christi Procession takes the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist into the streets of the local city. During the procession of clergy and the faithful, hymns are sung along with the recitation of prayers and litanies. These are a public display of the Catholic faith’s belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
In announcing the annual procession, the Cathedral’s rector, Father Thomas Willis, said, “This is a celebration of faith for Catholics. Since we believe wholeheartedly that Jesus, our Savior, is really and truly present in the sacrament of the Eucharist, the procession through the streets is a very public way of bringing this faith and the Good News into the world.”
The procession route will proceed from the Cathedral, south on St. George Street to the courtyard of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Following a brief service at the Motherhouse, the procession will move north on Aviles Street to the gazebo of the Plaza de la Constitución where another brief liturgy will be held in which prayers will be offered for God’s blessings upon all the people of St. Augustine. The procession will then conclude in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine where a final Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will be given by Father Willis.
Father Willis wants to encourage Catholics from near and far to join the Cathedral Parish in this annual ritual.
“The Eucharist is the sacrament of unity. Therefore, I hope Catholics from the surrounding parishes in our city will consider taking part in the procession as well as visitors to our city.”
For further information call the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine at (904) 824-2806.