Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mooning Around Over Corpus Christi

To support your appreciation of Corpus Christi, I encourage you to visit A Concord Pastor who has been posting his typically gorgeous posts about this feast since Friday. Fr. Austin Fleming has accompanied his commentary with audio clips of classics such as Mozart's Ave verum corpus.

But before you hie over there, please keep reading here for background about this thirteenth century feast. I quote, immodestly, from my book, The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions, wherein I explain what was up with a sixteen year old Augustinian nun named Juliana:
For years, she'd had a recurring vision of a full moon, its glowing surface spoiled by a little black spot. What was that mysterious blemish? Eventually, Jesus appeared to explain: The moon represented the Church calendar, the black mark the absence of a joyful feast to honor the Eucharist, and he was choosing Juliana to promote what would become known as the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. By the thirteenth century, this feast had become one of great pomp and circumstance.... (p. 98-99)
No, she did not also come up with Tantum ergo Sacramentum, O Salutaris Hostia, and Panis Angelicus. Those hymns were composed by St. Thomas Aquinas at the request of Pope Urban IV, who put Corpus Christi on the liturgical calendar.

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