Bell chimes and chanting could be heard down 195th Street at the fourth annual St. Mary Corpus Christi Procession on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019.
More than 100 participants gathered after the 11:00 Mass to process with the Blessed Sacrament to the old St. Mary Church on Wolf Road. At the head of the procession were priests, deacons, and seminarians with the Blessed Sacrament under a special canopy, followed by the parish’s choirs. The scent of incense wafted through the air.
The procession stopped at three stations along the way for brief periods of prayer, a reading, and a sacred hymn sung by a choir. The procession culminated with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the old church.
St. Mary holds the procession every year as a way of reviving old Catholic traditions in the southwest suburbs. Although once common, very few parishes now hold a Corpus Christi procession of this scale.
Among the traditional hallmarks involves children who recently made their First Holy Communion dressing up in their outfits and throwing rose petals on the ground.
The Feast of Corpus Christi honors the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and dates back to the 13th century when St. Juliana of Mont Cornillon had a divine vision instructing her to help get the solemnity instituted.
“The Eucharist is the true presence of Jesus Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity,” says Father Raed Bader, parochial vicar at St. Mary Mokena. “Jesus Himself said, ‘Whoever eats My body and drinks My blood will have eternal life’ because He wants to give us Himself through the bread and wine.”
The following video offers a full recap of the procession, including interviews with the priests and music directors.