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CORPUS CHRISTI
CORPUS CHRISTI
CORPUS CHRISTI
CORPUS CHRISTI
CORPUS CHRISTI

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CORPUS CHRISTI

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  • RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES
  • CELEBRATIONS AND FESTIVITIES
  • AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES

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.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Corpus Christi is the feast day celebrating the Institution of the Mass. This event occurs on the first Thursday following Trinity Sunday, which is the first Sunday after Pentecost. The following are the dates of Corpus Christi celebrations over the last nine years:

  • 2006 - June 15
  • 2007 - June 7
  • 2008 - May 22
  • 2009 - June 11
  • 2010 - June 3
  • 2011 - June 22
  • 2012 - June 7
  • 2013 - May 30
  • 2014 - June 19

Observances take place in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Scarborough and other parishes across the country. Followers of the Roman Catholic faith attend church services on Corpus Christi morning before going to processions in their communities. The biggest procession is held in front of the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Independence Square in Port of Spain.

Since there is often a great deal of rainfall around the time of the Corpus Christi celebrations, gardeners in Trinidad and Tobago consider the day to be good for planting, as it is believed that anything planted on this day will thrive. The prospect of showers does not in any way deter those observing the day, whether planting or taking part in the public processions. Both farmers and first time planters try to get the best fruit and vegetable plants for this occasion and many gardeners stock up on seeds, seedlings, plants and fertilizers. Some planters also carry their seeds to church services for blessing. Among the popular plants purchased during this time are tomatoes, hot peppers, melongene (eggplant or aubergine), ochro, patchoi (Chinese cabbage or bok choy), lettuce, and grains such as corn and pigeon peas.


Sources:
http://www.churchyear.net 
http://www.catholicnews-tt.net 
http://www.ttconnect.gov.tt 
http://www.timeanddate.com