The Feast of Corpus Christi is not found on the Episcopal calendar. The feast commemorates the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus on Maundy Thursday. The establishment of the feast resulted from many years of work by a Belgium canoness, Juliana of Liege. She experienced a vision of the moon with one dark spot on it which she interpreted as signifying the absence of a feast honoring Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. When this vision was relayed to her bishop, he celebrated the first Feast of Corpus Christi in 1229. Thomas Aquinas wrote our hymn 320 for this feast’s gospel hymn, and he wrote our hymns 329-331 for its vespers. This feast’s mass often includes a procession of the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance which is used in a special blessing of the congregation in a service called Benediction. In addition, many children receive their first communion on the Feast of Corpus Christi. On this day in 1519, Spanish explorer Alvarez de Pineda discovered a semi-tropical bay in what is now southern Texas. He named the city Corpus Christi in the Feast’s honor.
~ Dr. Gil Haas