“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
will live in me and I in him,” says the Lord.
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord, a yearly feast that honors the great mystery of the Corpus Domini manifested sacramentally as food for the pilgrim Mystical Body of Christ.
As is well known, local communities customarily celebrate today’s feast with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, like the simple one held at here at St. Vincent’s after the Noon Mass. More common around the world is the use of hymn and prayer texts composed by St. Thomas Aquinas, many of which are still officially contained in today’s liturgy. Over the centuries, several of these texts have been set to music. A few examples have been posted below.
On this holy feast, may the Eucharistic Lord confirm our faith in his sacramental presence, and may we respond in hope and love by living Eucharistic lives confident of the great promise given us in this sacrament—”He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:54).
Lord Jesus Christ,
you gave us the Eucharist
as the memorial of your suffering and death.
May our worship of this sacrament of your body and blood
help us to experience the salvation you won for us
and the peace of the kingdom
where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
The “O sacrum convivium” is a brief antiphon that praises the hidden mysteries of the Eucharist. Dominicans recite this antiphon every time they gather to chant the Office in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In the version posted above a simple chant version of the antiphon can be heard.
The “Lauda Sion” is the sequence sung between the Second Reading and the Gospel during the Corpus Christi Mass. When sung, its traditional chant is the version most often used.
The “Pange Lingua” is a hymn to the Blessed Sacrament most commonly sung during the eucharistic procession on Holy Thursday. The version posted above, performed by The Suspicious Cheese Lords, was composed by the sixteenth-century composer Elzéar Genet.
The “Tantum Ergo,” simply the last two verses of the “Pange Lingua,” is ordinarily sung during Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Above you can hear Mozart’s setting of the hymn.