Thursday, June 07, 2007

Eucharistic Processions

The Corpus Domini procession
Miniature from one of the liturgical codices of Santa Maria del Fiore (15th century).
Fondi edili, Laurentian Library, Florence

Eucharistic processions, often called “Corpus Christi” processions, have a long history.

The practice was heavily criticised by the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, and reformers with different beliefs about the Eucharist soon ended the celebrations in much of northern Europe.

Catholics, however, continued them with renewed zeal, and towns often competed to have the most elaborate or well-attended processions on the holy day of Corpus Christi.

Nowadays these processions pass without adverse comment.