PORTLAND----In honor of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (also known as the Feast of Corpus Christi), parishes around the Diocese of Portland have planned celebrations, Eucharistic processions, and special events for the week of June 18 (listed below).
The Feast of Corpus Christi (translated from Latin to “Body of Christ”) originated in 1246 and was extended to the whole Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. The Feast of Corpus Christi recalls the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper. While the Last Supper is also commemorated on Holy Thursday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ focuses solely on the gift of the Eucharist. The mood is also more joyous than that felt on Holy Thursday, the day before Christ's passion and death.
In the United States, the Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. This year, it is June 18. It serves as a sign of common faith, adoration, and acknowledgement that our worship of Jesus calls us to offer a pledge of undivided love and offering of ourselves to the service of others. The feast is often marked by Eucharistic processions, during which the Blessed Sacrament is carried in a monstrance through the church and into the streets. Many also spend time in Eucharistic adoration on the solemnity. Some of the parish celebrations scheduled for around Maine are:
Corpus Christi Parish, Waterville
Corpus Christi Parish will celebrate the parish’s feast day with a Forty Hours Devotion starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 15, and continuing until midnight on Friday, June 16. The adoration will be held at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on 101 Silver Street. On Sunday, June 18, a Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. at Notre Dame Church, located on 116 Silver Street, followed by a Eucharistic procession to the chapel. A reception will follow in the hall at Notre Dame.
Good Shepherd Parish & Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, Saco
On Sunday, June 18, there will be Eucharistic adoration beginning after the 10:30 a.m. Mass at Most Holy Trinity Church on 271 Main Street in Saco. Adoration will continue until 6 p.m. when there will be a Holy Hour including prayers and music. Following the Holy Hour, a Eucharistic procession will start at the church and end at the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel, which is located in the convent adjacent to the former Notre Dame de Lourdes Church at 27 Thornton Avenue (about a one block walk). All are invited to participate.
Prince of Peace Parish, Lewiston
On Sunday, June 18, Prince of Peace Parish will hold its annual Corpus Christi procession, beginning at the conclusion of the 10 a.m. Mass at the Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul on 122 Ash Street in Lewiston. The procession will go down Ash Street, turn right on Blake Street, turn right on College Street, along Bartlett Street, and conclude in the basilica chapel with Benediction. If it is difficult for you to walk in procession, you can take the elevator from the church to the basilica chapel at the end of Mass. The procession will join you there. In the event of rain, the procession will go directly from the church to the chapel.
St. Louis Parish, Portland
St. Louis Parish will celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi with Mass on Sunday, June 18, at 11:30 a.m. at the church, located on 279 Danforth Street in Portland. The Mass will be followed by a community procession to four outdoor altars set up in the nearby neighborhood. The procession will be led by Father Kyle Doustou, who will carry the Blessed Sacrament to each altar where there will be prayers and singing.
St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Bangor
St. Paul the Apostle Parish will celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi with adoration after the 8:30 a.m. Mass at St. Mary Church on 768 Ohio Street in Bangor. In addition, adoration will be offered before each of the parish’s other Masses throughout the weekend:
Saturday, June 17 St. John Church, 217 York St., Bangor 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 17 St. Joseph Church, 531 North Main St., Brewer 4 p.m.
Sunday, June 18 St. Mary Church, 768 Ohio St., Bangor 7 a.m.
Sunday, June 18 St. Gabriel Church, 435 South Main St., Winterport 8:30 a.m.
Sunday, June 18 St. John Church, 217 York St., Bangor 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, June 18 St. Matthew Church, 70 Western Ave., Hampden 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, June 18 St. Teresa Church, 425 South Main St., Brewer 5:30 p.m.