Hundreds are expected to march in a traditional Eucharistic procession held by Saint Mary Mokena Parish on Sunday, June 23, in observance of the Roman Catholic Solemnity of Corpus Christi.
A seldom-seen practice in south-suburban Chicago, the procession will run a half-mile along 195th Street in Mokena, culminating at the old St. Mary Church on Wolf Road, which dates to 1864.
The procession is part of St. Mary Mokena’s ongoing efforts to reintroduce traditional Catholic practices into the everyday life of the parish. At the head of the procession will be the exposed Blessed Sacrament, accompanied by sacred music from four of the parish choirs: Adult, St. Casimir Chamber, St. Cecilia Schola and Children’s Choir. Guest instrumentalists will also provide music.
This year’s First Communicants, from both St. Mary School and Religious Education (R.E.) will also participate, partaking in a time-honored tradition of throwing rose petals in honor of the Blessed Sacrament
“This solemn, time-honored procession, accompanied by our choirs’ beautiful singing, will instill a magnificent, mystical experience in the participants and promises to be a unique event in the southwest suburbs,” says Anna Pacek, Director of Sacred Music at St. Mary Mokena.
Fr. Dindo Billote, pastor of St. Mary Mokena, adds, “Honoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as a parish is truly a beautiful experience.”
Corpus Christi celebrates the Roman Catholic belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and His true presence in the Eucharist. The Blessed Sacrament is displayed in a monstrance and covered by a canopy as it is carried in procession. Although observed worldwide, actual processions have become less common, especially in the United States.
“The feast of Corpus Christi is one time when our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is exposed not just to faithful Catholics, but to all the world,” explains Simonetta-Marie Pacek, Associate Director of Sacred Music at Saint Mary Mokena.
“It’s a time when Catholics can show their love for Christ in the Real Presence by honoring Him in a very public way.”
The Corpus Christi procession will begin following the 11 AM Mass on Sunday, June 23rd at Saint Mary Church in Mokena. It will be followed by an ice cream social for the public.
For more information, please visit http://www.stmarymokena.org/