Corpus Christi Procession: Only at the Principal Mass?
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 339
    To those of you who have a Corpus Christi procession, does it only occur after the principal Mass (if you celebrate CC on a Sunday)? After all Masses? What is your experience? To me, it seems most logical for the procession to only follow the main Mass, but I recognize that this is probably a matter of tradition as opposed to law. Is there legislation or documentation relating to this practice?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,577
    Short answer: Yes, it's after the principal Mass or that of the external solemnity (normally one, except by indult, and nowadays that's the default in much of the world).

    Longer answer: (I don't have any good 1960 sources at the moment), the rubrics as explained by Père Stercky et al.: on Thursday, the procession follows the principal Mass in the mother church of the place, or in each church if a single procession isn't possible. Then on the remaining days of the octave, each church takes turns, after the principal Mass — or the external solemnity Mass if that's celebrated in collegiate churches on Sunday — or Vespers (always Vespers on the last day, with less solemnity: choir dress alone for the clergy, a shorter route, less fanfare…)

    However, in France the solemnity with the procession has been celebrated on Sunday since 1802, so we have an answer: the procession follows the principal Mass of the external solemnity, everything being done as on the feast.

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  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 430
    Procession (on Sunday) afternoon, beginning with exposition and a period of adoration in one church (or the Catholic school offsite), and then setting off across town to another church, where there is then Vespers and Benediction. This works well; that way there are two parishes’ worth of people participating and mingling with each other, and a whole weekend’s worth of Masses to promote the procession.


    Of course CC should be Thursday and everyone should get the day off and go to Mass and all the Offices and 15 Holy Hours, but given present realities, I think this is excellent and better than just rounding up whoever has come to the principal Mass and decides to stick around, and also brings in some folks each year for Vespers who have never heard of a liturgy other than Mass.
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