The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin: Body of Christ), alternatively referred to as Festum Corpus et Sanguinis Christi, is a Christian feast celebrating the Holy Eucharist. This feast is also called Mass or Communion. It is the liturgical celebration of Christ's death and resurrection, where Christians partake of Christ's body and blood. Corpus Christi is primarily celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and in some countries where Catholicism is one of the dominant religions it is celebrated as a national holiday. Some Anglican Churches also celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi.
It is believed that the feast of Corpus Christi originated with St. Juliana, a nun of Liege, Belgium, who was led to start a celebration of the Mass around 1230 AD. At an early age, St. Juliana developed a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and longed for a feast in honor of the Eucharist. In 1264 AD, Pope Urban IV commanded universal observance of Corpus Christi and by the 14th century, the feast became universally celebrated in the West. St. Thomas Aquinas is given credit for many of the customs and hymns associated with the feast.
The duration of Corpus Christi is one day and the Liturgical color is white. Some of the Corpus Christi symbols include: Bread and Wine (or Plate and Chalice), a bunch of grapes, vine, peacock feeding on grapes and any symbol of the Eucharist. It is traditional to open Mass with the singing of traditional hymns such as Lauda Sion and Pange Lingua, both attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas. The Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction is then followed by the Corpus Christi Procession. It is a common devotional practice to say one's own prayers before and after receiving Holy Communion.