June 2, 2024 – The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

On June 2nd, St. Anselm Parish celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi at all the weekend Masses. But, the 12 noon Mass, followed by an outdoor procession around the block and concluding back in the church with a Benediction was particularly splendid, especially thanks to the altar servers who added solemnity to the liturgy and the procession, and the Adult Choir, under the direction of our parish’s Musical Director, Therese Panicali, which offered a beautiful selection of Eucharistic hymns.

Fr. John, in his homily, spoke about how the Church uses symbols to express the truths of our faith, referring particularly to the “pelican in its piety”, an image seen in many Catholic churches. Fr. John spoke of the tradition that the pelican feeds its young by striking its own breast. He spoke about the ancient Latin hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas, “Adoro Te Devote” in which Aquinas compares Christ to a pelican as an expression of selfless love, the love that Christ shows for all of us.

At the conclusion of the Mass, the consecrated Host was placed in the monstrance. Fr. John, joined by Msgr. Philips and Deacon Tom, carried the monstrance in procession down the main aisle of the church and out onto the 4th Avenue steps. From the church steps Fr. John, blessed the congregation with the Host, which now, thanks to four gentlemen, was under a protective canopy.

The procession, lead by Fr. John, carrying the monstrance, then proceeded down 82nd Street, while the Adult Choir, with Therese leading the singers in song, followed immediately behind. It stopped at the rectory for incensing and a blessing. Then, on to 3rd Avenue and back up 83rd Street, making a second stop at the steps of the school entrance for incensing, before returning to 4th Avenue and going back into the church.

Re-entering the church, the procession moved up the center aisle and into the sanctuary. Now the Benediction service began with the Host, in the monstrance, being incensed and the congregation being blessed. All the while the choir continued to inspire with some of the most beloved Eucharistic hymns.

At the conclusion of the Benediction Fr. John thanked the parishioners for participating in the celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. A day to remind us of what a treasure and gift we Catholics have received in the presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist!


All the best,

The St. Anselm Publicity Committee

(Click for photos.)