In my previous article, I shared with you a summary of the 40 Hours Devotion that Holy Cross Parish celebrated last October. It was truly a blessed experience for our parish and school community — for all who participated in those days of Eucharistic devotion. In this article, I wish to explain how we celebrated the Eucharistic Procession that began our 40 Hours Devotion.
The Eucharistic Procession took place after our Sunday 10:30 am Mass, which happened to be our monthly bilingual Mass. About 150 parishioners participated in the procession, which lasted about one hour due to the four prayer stations we incorporated into the procession.
The theme of the first station was Take and Eat. Matthew 26:26 was proclaimed, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’” The people joined in a bilingual prayer that focused on hunger in our neighborhood, asking that, as we are nourished by this sacred food, Christ’s love will be embodied in us as generous compassion for our neighbors who are hungry. Each participant then received a piece of bread to eat.
The theme of the second station was Take and Drink. Matthew 26:27-29 was proclaimed, “Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.’” The people joined in a bilingual prayer that focused on innocent blood shed due to violence in our neighborhood and city, the role of police as peacemakers, and the U.S. Bishops’ call to ban assault weapons, as we prayed for reasonable gun control measures to protect innocent victims of gun violence. Grapes were then distributed to each of the participants to consume.
The theme of the third station was Remember Me. 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 was proclaimed, “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’” The bilingual prayer focused on our neighborhood and its richness of diversity, and on fostering healthy, thriving relationships between neighbors and with one another, that people from different cultures will be able to understand and care for one another.
The theme of the fourth station was Eucharistic People. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 was proclaimed, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” The Eucharistic Revival prayer cards in English and Spanish were distributed, and all prayed the prayer in their preferred language:
Lord Jesus Christ, you give us your flesh and blood for the life of the world, and you desire that all people come to the Supper of the Sacrifice of the Lamb. Renew in your Church the truth, beauty, and goodness contained in the Most Blessed Eucharist.
Jesus living in the Eucharist, come and live in me. Jesus healing in the Eucharist, come and heal me. Jesus sacrificing yourself in the Eucharist, come and suffer in me. Jesus rising in the Eucharist, come and rise to new life in me. Jesus loving in the Eucharist, come and love in me.
Lord Jesus Christ, through the paschal mystery of your death and resurrection made present in every Holy Mass, pour out your healing love on your Church and on our world. Grant that as we lift you up during this time of Eucharistic Revival, your Holy Spirit may draw all people to join us at this Banquet of Life. You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever.
We returned to the church, where we placed the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance on the altar for adoration. Most of the participants then participated in our coffee and donuts reception that takes place after our monthly bilingual Mass — a wonderful way to come together as the Body of Christ to celebrate who we are as a Eucharistic people in communion with one another.