Thursday, June 4, 2015


A peculiar thing happens in Rome today. Italy, like the USA, has transferred the Solemnity of Corpus Christi to this coming Sunday. However, the Vatican City State still celebrates it on the proper day. Thus the Bishop of Rome celebrates the Solemnity of Corpus Christi today even though Roman Churches will do it again on Sunday. How weird is that?

Pope Francis will celebrate Mass outside in front of the Cathedral Church of Rome, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. After the Prayer after Holy Communion, the Most Blessed Sacrament will be placed in a monstrance and then placed securely on the back of a Chevy flatbed pickup truck and a marvelous procession will form. Southerners truly love this part of the procession! It is inculturation at its best!

Pope Benedict would kneel before the Most Blessed Sacrament on the flatbed of the truck and then truck on down to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major for Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Pope Francis in the past walks behind the Chevy pickup.

At the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Pope Francis will celebrate Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament ad orientem.

And from a Corpus Christi in the not to distant past:


Anonymous said...

Last year the pope did not take part in the procession. After the Mass at the Lateran he was driven to St. Mary Major and waited for the Blessed Sacrament to arrive. The excuse given by the Vatican spokesman was that the pope didn't want his presense to detract from the Blessed Sacrament. The only thing I am going to say is what kind of person would ever think that they would take the attention away from God. I'm just sayin'

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In one way I can see His Holiness point of view, but then you would have to apply that logic to papal Masses! YIKES! Maybe ad orientem would solve that problem too?

Anonymous said...

Altar girl "alert" in the pictures above they should not be there!! BOYS ONLY!!! Come on Father boys only please.

Lefebvrian said...

It's still Corpus Christi today in the Roman Rite. So, if the transference bothers you, you could offer the Traditional Mass and resolve that.

I think, though, that this feast is one that is sometimes celebrated as an external solemnity this upcoming Sunday. John Nolan can probably elaborate on that... I'm not very knowledgable about external solemnities.

Nancy said...

The truck didn't come along until 1994, after John Paul II broke his hip. From 1979 until then, he walked the whole distance carrying the Blessed Sacrament.

John Nolan said...

The girls should be in white dresses scattering rose petals, NOT sauntering about dressed as clerics. The Blessed Sacrament should be preceded by two thurifers walking side by side and not trying to incense while walking backwards. God only knows where that particular silliness came from.

Since Corpus Christi is not a public holiday in non-Catholic countries the procession is traditionally held on the following Sunday, and the Mass preceding it is that of the feast (external solemnity).

In the Novus Ordo it's not Corpus Christi anyway; it's Corpus et Sanguis Christi, Bugnini having suppressed Pius IX's Feast of the Precious Blood (1 July). There is still a votive Mass of the Precious Blood, so those who are for one reason or another committed to the new rite have the option of using it on that day.