It’s not every day you see or take part in a Corpus Christi procession through the streets of NYC. That was until this past Thursday, June 4, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.
Every year on the Feast of Corpus Christi many churches, parishes, (arch)dioceses organize and take part in processions with the Most Blessed Sacrement, either on church grounds or on the streets of the community. This year, a Corpus Christi procession was organized to coincide with the Sacra Liturgia 2015 Conference in New York City.
The procession began at the end of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which was celebrated by Bishop Joseph Perry (Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago) at St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church on East 68th Street. The procession exited the church and headed south on 1st Avenue making a stop at St. John Nepomucene Roman Catholic Church, which is located on 1st Avenue between 67th and 66th Street. Bishop Perry placed the Monstrance on the Altar for the faithful to adore & pray. After singing a few Eucharistic hymns, the faithful led by the Monstrance containing Our Blessed Lord held by Bishop Perry emptied out onto 1st Avenue. The Corpus Christi procession head west on East 66th Street. At the point people started to join the procession. There were many bystanders and spectators, who stopped what they were doing to watch the Eucharistic procession. The procession ended at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church, located on the corner of East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue. The awe inspiring English Gothic style church is under the auspices of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. Bishop Perry along with the Deacon and Subdeacon processed with the Blessed Sacrament up to the Church’s marvelously appointed High Altar. Bishop Perry incensed the Monstrance and Blessed Sacrament as the faithful sang “Tantum Ergo”.
Before Bishop Perry gave those assembled the final benediction, we recited the Divine Praises in Latin. The whole experience of the procession and benediction is like something I have never witnessed before. I pray that this devotion will continue throughout the (arch)dioceses of the world, especially here in the United States. It has a way of making our Catholic Faith alive and tangible. Pax Christi, Anthony “Tony Mangia” Scillia