The Body and Blood of Christ

My dear friends in Christ,

This weekend we celebrate the solemnity of The Body and Blood of Christ (which used to be known as ‘Corpus Christi’). This feast complements the liturgy of Holy Thursday when Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper.

The feast of Corpus Christi arose in the Middle Ages as an expression of people’s devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. It was celebrated first as a local feast and then Pope Urban IV made it a universal feast in 1264. It became associated with processions through the towns and villages of Europe during which the monstrance that contained the sacred host was carried under a festive canopy and the crowds knelt as the Blessed Sacrament passed to receive the blessing.

In current times we are unable to receive the Eucharist due to the suspension of public Masses. However, we might take this opportunity to remind ourselves that we are the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23); we are a Eucharistic image to the world. In other words, our communion with God and others is reflected outwards to bring wholeness, compassion, healing and joy to the world around us.

This sounds as though we have a lot to live up to and therefore seems quite daunting. Yet, we need not be daunted, quite the opposite, we should be excited. Why? Well, because it involves the discovery of our true selves. We’re not trying to be something that we’re not; we’re trying to be who we really are, and that’s good news all round. The challenge for us is to shed all those false securities, becoming less dependent on them and more dependent on God, which obviously involves a lot of trust. This pattern of giving up and surrendering to God is what we call the paschal mystery. In celebrating the Eucharist, we are celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (what we call the paschal mystery), thus His paschal mystery is our paschal mystery too. So, you can see that the Eucharist is a lot more than simply going to church and receiving Holy Communion; it is the necessary pattern of our life if we are to be our true selves and that light in world and salt of the earth.

This Saturday, the children on our First Holy Communion program should have been celebrating their special day; alas, that was not to be. So please say a little prayer for them all asking God to fill their hearts with His love and keep them safe.

Don’t forget, the church is opening for private prayer from next Monday (15th June). For the sake of safety, there are a lot of things to be aware of and you’ll find those on a separate notification.

Take care and God bless,

Fr Brett

A selection of Live-streamed Masses and other useful links:

  • Walsingham Shrine, Norfolk
  • Westminster Cathedral
  • Our Lady of Lourdes, Leigh-on-Sea
  • St Peter and St Paul, Ilford
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel, Wickford
  • Via Utube:

  • Chelmsford (Our Lady Immaculate)
  • Basildon (Our Lady and All Saints)
  • Leigh-on-Sea (Our Lady of Lourdes)
  • Manor Park (St Stephen & St Nicholas)
  • East Ham (St Michael’s)
  • Forest Gate (St Anthony's)
  • A 'live' link to the Vatican:

  • The Vatican - 'Live Feed'
  • Via Instagram:

  • Walsingham House at Abbotswick
  • Online Mass Readings:

  • Daily Mass Readings
  • Some prayers:

  • 'Sacred Space' (Irish Jesuits)