The Thursday after Trinity Sunday is the feast of Corpus Christi - the Body of Christ. On this day, we especially celebrate the gift of Christ's Body to us in the holy Eucharist. Though the Church celebrates the Eucharist in a special way on Holy Thursday, the joy of this celebration is often overshadowed by the sorrow of Our Lord's Passion. Therefore, this feast was instituted so that we might remember the institution with proper joy and celebration. Also, following Mass, a procession is encouraged. Traditionally, the procession passes through the neighborhood in which the parish is located, with the priest carrying the host in a monstrance underneath a baldachin. He is followed by the faithful who sing as they walk. This post contains the traditional songs for the procession, in addition to the standard propers and the sequence. The Office and propers of the Mass were composed by St. Thomas Aquinas.
Ant. He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia; and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
V. Exult in God our helper; sing joyfully to the God of Jacob.
V. Glory be...
1. O Zion, Thy Redeemer praising,
Songs of joy to him upraising,
Laud thy Pastor and thy Guide.
2. Swell thy notes most high and daring;
For His praise is past declaring,
And Thy loftiest powers beside.
3. 'Tis a theme with praise that gloweth,
For the bread that life bestoweth
Goes this day before us out.
4. Which, His holy supper taking,
To the brethren twelve His breaking
None hath ever called in doubt.
5. Full, then, be our praise and sounding,
Modest and with joy abounding,
Be our mind's triumphant state.
6. For the festal's prosecution,
When the first blest institutition
Of this feast we celebrate.
7. In the new King's new libation,
In the new Law's new oblation,
Ends the ancient Paschal rite.
8. Ancient forms new substance chaseth,
Typic shadows truth displaceth,
Day dispels the gloom of night.
9. When He did at supper seated
Christ enjoined to be repeated,
When His love we celebrate.
10. Thus obeying His dictation,
Blood and wine of our salvation,
We the Victim consecrate.
11. 'Tis for Christian faith asserted,
Bread is into flesh converted,
Into blood the holy wine:
12. Sight and intellect transcending,
Nature's laws to marvel bending,
'Tis confirmed by faith divine.
13. Under either kind remaining,
Form, not substance, still retaining,
Wondrous things our spirit sees:
14. Flesh and blood thy palate staining.
Yet still Christ entire remaining,
Under either species.
15. All untorn for eating given,
Undivided and unriven,
Whole He's taken and unrent.
16. Be there one, or crowds surrounding,
He is equally abounding,
Nor, though eaten ever spent.
17. Both to good and bad 'tis broken
But on each a different token:
One of life or death attends.
18. Life to good, to bad damnation;
Lo! of one same manducation
How dissimilar the ends.
19. When the priest the victim breaketh,
See thy faith in no wise shaketh,
Know that every fragment taketh
All that 'neath the whole there lies.
20. This in Him no fracture maketh,
'Tis the figure only breaketh
Form, or state, no change there taketh
Place in what it signifies.
21. Bread, that angels eat in heaven,
Now becomes the pilgrim's leaven.
Bread in truth to children given,
That must ne'er to dogs be thrown.
22. He in ancient types disguised,
Was the Isaac sacrificed,
For the feast a lamb devised,
Manna to the Fathers shown.
23. Bread whose shepherd-care doth tend us,
Jesus Christ, Thy mercy send us,
Do Thou feed us, Thou defend us,
Lead us where true joys attend us
In the land where life is given.
24. Thou all ken and might possessing,
Mercies aye to us largessing,
Make us share Thy cup of blessing,
Heritage and love's caressing
With the denizens of heaven.
Ant. The priests of the Lord offer incense and loaves to God, and therefore they shall be holy to their God, and they shall not defile His Name, alleluia.
Ant. As often as you eat this Bread, and drink the Chalice, you announce the death of the Lord, until He comes; therefore, whoever eats this Bread or drinks the Chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord, alleluia.
4. Word made flesh, the bread of nature
By His word to flesh He turns;
Wine into His blood He changes:
What though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
Faith her lesson quickly learns.
5. DOWN IN ADORATION FALLING,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
Newer rites of grace prevail;
Faith for all defects supplying,
Where the feeble sense fail.
6. To the everlasting Father,
And the Son Who reigns on high,
With the Holy Ghost proceeding,
From them each eternally,
Be salvation, honor, blessing,
Might, and endless majesty. Amen.
1. Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
Of His flesh the mystery sing;
Of the blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our immortal King,
Destined, for the world's redemption,
From a noble womb to spring.
2. Of a pure and spotless Virgin
Born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
Stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
Then He closed in solemn order
Wondrously His life of woe.
3. On the night of that last supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He, the paschal victim eating,
First fulfills the Law's command:
Then as food to all His brethren,
Gives Himself with His own hand.
5. So He this Sacrifice
To institute did will,
And charged His priests alone
That office to fulfill:
In them He did confide:
To whom pertaineth still
To take, and to the rest divide.
6. Thus angels' bread is made
The bread of man today:
The living Bread from heaven
With figures doth away:
O wondrous gift indeed!
The poor and lowly may
Upon their Lord and Master feed.
7. O Triune Deity,
To thee we meekly pray,
So mayst thou visit us,
As we our homage pay;
And in Thy footsteps bright
Conduct us on our way
To where Thou dwell'st in cloudless light.
1. At this our solemn feast,
Let holy joys abound,
And from the inmost breast
Let songs of praise resound,
Let ancient rites depart,
And all be new around,
In every act, and voice, and heart.
2. Remember we that eve,
When, the last supper spread,
Christ, as we all believe,
The lamb, with leavenless bread,
Among His brethren shared,
And thus the law obeyed,
Of old unto their sires declared.
3. The typic lamb consumed,
The legal feast complete,
The Lord unto the twelve
His body gave to eat;
The whole to all, no less,
The whole to each, did mete
With his own hands, as we confess.
4. He gave them, weak and frail,
His flesh their food to be;
On them, downcast and sad,
His blood bestowed He:
And thus to them He spake,
"Receive this cup from me,
And all of you of this partake."
4. By birth, our fellow-man was He;
Our meat, while sitting at the board;
He died, our ransomer to be;
He ever reigns, our great reward.
5. O saving Victim, opening wide
The gate of heaven to man below,
Our foes press on from every side,
Thine aid supply; Thy strength bestow.
6. To Thy great Name be endless praise,
Immortal Godhead, One in Three;
O grant us endless length of days
In our true native land, with Thee. Amen.
1. The heav'nly Word proceeding forth,
Yet leaving not the Father's side,
And going to His work on earth,
Had reached at length life's eventide.
2. By false disciple to be given
To foemen for His blood athirst,
Himself, the living Bread from heaven,
He gave to His disciples first.
3. To them He gave, in twofold kind,
His very flesh, His very blood:
In love's own fullness thus designed
Of the whole man to be the food.
4. Let mercy sweet with Thee prevail,
To cure the wounds we now bewail;
O bless us with Thy holy sight,
And fill us with eternal light.
5. Our guide, our way to heavenly rest,
Be Thou the aim of every breast;
Be Thou the soother of our tears,
Our sweet reward above the spheres.
1. Hail, Thou Who man's Redeemer art,
Jesu, the joy of every heart;
Great Maker of the world's wide frame,
And purest love's delight and flame:
2. What nameless mercy Thee o'ercame,
To bear our load of sin and shame?
For guiltless, Thou Thy life did'st give,
That sinful erring man might live.
3. The realms of woe are forced by Thee,
Its captives from their chains set free,
And Thou, amid Thy ransomed train,
At God's right hand dost victor reign.
5. Be Thou our joy, O mighty Lord,
As Thou wilt be our great reward;
Earth's joys to Thee are nothing worth,
Thou joy and crown of heaven and earth.
6. To Thee we therefore humbly pray,
That Thou wouldst purge our sins away.
And draw our hearts by cords of grace
To Thy celestial dwelling-place.
7. So when the judgement day shall come,
And all must rise to meet their doom,
Thou wilt remit the debts we owe,
And our lost crowns again bestow.
8. All glory, Lord, to Thee we pay,
Ascending o'er the stars today;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.
1. Eternal Monarch, King most high,
Whose blood hath brought redemption nigh,
By whom the death of death was wrought,
And conquering grace's battle fought:
2. Ascending by the starry road,
This day Thou wentest home to God,
By heaven to power unending called,
And by no human hand installed.
3. That so, in nature's triple frame,
Each heavenly and each earthly name,
And things in hell's abyss abhorred,
May bend the knee and own Him Lord.
4. Yea, angels tremble when they see
How changed is our humanity;
That flesh hath purged what flesh had stained,
And God, the flesh of God, hath reigned.
4. Suffer us to taste of Thee
In our life's last agony.
5. O sweet, O pious One!
O Jesus Mary's Son!
1. Hail to Thee! true Body sprung
From the Virgin Mary's womb!
2. The same that on the cross was hung
And bore for man the bitter doom,
3. Thou whose side was pierced and flowed
Both with water and with blood;
5. O Memorial wondrous
Of the Lord's own death!
Living Bread, that givest
All Thy creatures breath,
Grant my spirit ever
By Thy Life may live,
To my taste Thy sweetness
6. Pelican of mercy,
Jesu, Lord and God,
Cleanse this wretched sinner
In Thy Precious Blood:
Blood whereof one drop
For humankind outpoured
Might from all transgression
Have the world restored.
7. Jesu, whom now veiled
I by faith descry,
What my soul doth thirst for,
Do not, Lord, deny:
That Thy Face unveiled
I at last may see,
With the blissful vision
Blest, my God, of Thee. Amen.
1. Prostrate I adore Thee,
Who Thy glory hidest
'Neath these shadows mean;
Lo, to Thee surrendered,
My whole heart is bowed,
Tranced as it beholds Thee,
Shrined within the cloud.
2. Taste and touch and vision
To discern Thee fail,
But the hearing only
Well may here prevail.
I believe whate'er
The Son of God hath told;
What the Truth hath spoken,
That for truth I hold.
3. On the Cross lay hidden
By Thy Deity,
Here is hidden also
But in both believing
And confessing, Lord,
Ask I what the dying
Thief of Thee implored.
4. Thy dread wounds like Thomas,
Though I cannot see,
His be my confession,
Lord and God, of Thee.
Make my faith unfeigned
Give me hope unfading,
Love that cannot cease.
8. In holiness and justice before Him,
All our days.
9. And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest;
For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways.
10. To give the knowledge of salvation to His people,
Unto the remission of their sins.
11. Through the bowels of the mercy of our God,
In which the Orient from on high hath visited us.
12. To enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death:
To direct our feet in the way of peace.
13. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, And to the Holy Spirit,
14. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
1. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;
Because He hath visited and wrought the redemption of His people.
2. And He hath raise up the horn of salvation to us,
In the house of David His servant.
3. And He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who are from the beginning.
4. Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all that hate us.
5. To work mercy with our fathers:
And remember His holy testament.
6. The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
That He would grant us.
7. That being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
We may serve Him without fear.
7. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
8. He hath filed the hungry with good things: and the rich He hath sent away empty.
9. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy.
10. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.
11. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
12. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
1. My soul doth magnify the Lord:
2. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
3. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
4. For He that is mighty hath done great things to me: and holy is His Name.
5. And His mercy is from generation to generations, to them that fear Him.
6. He hath showed might in His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart:
Here, if time is needed, the Sequence (above) may be sung.
17. When Thou hadst overcome the sting of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers,
18. Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
19. We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge,
20. WE PRAY THEE, therefore, help Thy servants, whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
21. Make them to be numbered with Thy saints in everlasting glory.
22. O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thy inheritance.
23. Govern them, and lift them up forever.
24. Day by day we bless Thee.
25. And we praise Thy Name forever; yea, forever and ever.
26. Deign, O Lord, this day, to keep us without sin.
27. Have mercy on us, O Lord; have mercy on us.
28. O Lord, let Thy mercy be shown to us; as we have hoped in Thee.
29. In Thee, have I hoped, O Lord; let me not be confounded forever.
1. We praise thee, O God: we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
2. All the earth worships Thee: the Father everlasting.
3. To Thee all angels cry aloud: the heavens, and all the powers therein:
4. To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim continually do cry:
5. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord, God of hosts
6. Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Thy glory.
7. The glorious choir of the Apostles,
8. The admirable company of the Prophets,
9. The white-robed army of Martyrs praise Thee.
10. The Holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee,
11. The Father of infinite majesty,
12. The adorable, true, and only Son:
13. The Holy Ghost also, the Comforter,
14. Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
15. Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
16. WHEN Thou didst take upon Thee to deliver man, Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.