June 7: Corpus Christi on Leaving Sunday

Join us on June 7 for the Feast of Corpus Christi, which this year is also Leaving Sunday, the day in which we say goodbye to our choristers and wish our departing 8th graders Godspeed. The 11am Solemn Eucharist is the last time you will be able to hear the full Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys until the choristers return in September. In the meantime, Sunday choral worship continues thanks to the Gentlemen of the Choir and visiting choirs. Read more about the summer.

Corpus Christi is Latin for “the body of Christ.” In a sense, therefore, every Eucharist is a commemoration of the feast of Corpus Christi and, at Saint Thomas, we have nearly one thousand celebrations of the Eucharist each year. But on this particular Sunday we take the time to contemplate the holy mysteries in depth, to dig deep in heart and mind as we attempt to understand what it is we are doing when we go to the altar rail to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

Of course, during Holy Week, on Maundy Thursday, we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist by our Lord. Yet, because Holy Week is full of so much activity surrounding our Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, it is appropriate that we set aside a time later in the year to return to ponder this most intimate and yet ubiquitous of sacraments. The feast day itself actually falls on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. However at Saint Thomas we celebrate it on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday so that the maximum number of people can participate.

It is not by accident that this day falls after Easter Day, Ascension Day, the Day of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. The risen Lord has ascended into heaven. He has sent his Spirit, and this same Spirit consecrates the bread and wine that is received by the gathered Christian community. As Saint Augustine is reported to have said at the presentation of these Eucharistic elements, “Behold what you are, and become what you receive: the Body of Christ.”