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Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) — 3 June 2018

In years gone by the major focus of this feast of Corpus Christi was a procession that usually concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Many of us have fond memories of Benediction: a bejewelled cope and monstrance, the flickering candles, the Divine Praises and Latin hymns. It all worked to create a magical atmosphere. As richly theatrical as it was, the magical side of it was part of the problem. In medieval times Catholics rarely received Holy Communion. So much so it was in this context that the Church ruled that we have to communicate at least once a year. In the absence of communion, veneration of the Blessed Sacrament took on a great significance. Seeing the host was thought to impart an intense power

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