What is the difference between Corpus Christi (Sunday’s celebration) and Holy Thursday? The latter takes place during the solemn rites of Sacred Triduum, and focuses more on the institution of the Eucharist. Corpus Christi, on the other hand, is a continuation of the celebrations of Easter and Pentecost, and focuses more on the community dimension. In many parts of the world, Corpus Christ is a national holiday, celebrated with great festivity by the people of any given city or town.
We Catholics can be really strange sometimes when it comes to the Eucharist. Some like the back of church, some like the front, and others have a favorite place to sit and don’t you dare take my place. To sing or not to sing, to listen to the readings and homily or not to listen, to use the new responses or the old ones we’re so used to. Some extend the Greeting of Peace with warmth and sincerity, others make their neighbors feel like Typhoid Mary. Some sing the Communion hymn, others go back and kneel with their face in their hands. Quite a few come in late and there are three waves of departure: after communion, after the blessing, after the Final Song.
The Eucharist is meant to be a gathering of people who call themselves Christians. It is a time when WE give thanks to God for all God’s gives, when WE acknowledge our sinfulness and our need of God’s mercy. It’s a time for US to receive the nourishment we need in the Body and Blood of Christ so that we may be his living body in the world as a parish and as individuals. Sadly, the Mass all too often reflects exactly the tragedy of our world today: there’s too much “I” and not enough “we.”
Love deeply, pray faithfully, laugh often … preferably with others!!!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.