Catholic multimedia network Ascension has queued up several digital events to help Catholics celebrate and deepen their devotion to the holy Eucharist.
This year the feast of Corpus Christi “will carry an especially poignant meaning as so many of us were separated from our eucharistic Lord for many month,” explained theologian and Ascension author Edward Sri (pictured).
The feast of Corpus Christi was instituted for the entire church in 1264 by Pope Urban IV. Also called the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, it honours the Real Presence in the Eucharist.
The first of Ascension’s virtual events to honour the feast day this Sunday is already underway: a special novena campaign to pray for a renewed fervour for the Blessed Sacrament. The novena is a partnership between Ascension and PrayMoreNovenas.com, where people can join in.
According to Ascension, thousands are praying along in the UK and other countries around the globe, like Australia, Lithuania, Lebanon, India and the United States.
“It’s our privilege to help Catholics around the world unite in prayer,” said Jonathan Strate, Ascension’s president and CEO. “The Church is universal, and on this feast day which honours the body of Christ, it is truly our honour to help unite that same mystical body in prayer across the globe through digital media.”
In addition, Sri was hosting a video premiere of Celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi, available for free on Ascension’s Facebook and YouTube platforms, which have nearly one million followers between them.
“The feast of Corpus Christi has a rich, beautiful history,” said Sri. “This Corpus Christi event will explore some of that history, celebrate stories of both historic and modern-day Catholics who have shown heroic devotion to the body and blood of Jesus, and will end with some suggestions for how Catholics can celebrate this great solemnity in their homes and parishes.”
Traditionally, many parishes and dioceses celebrate Corpus Christi with outdoor eucharistic processions of the Blessed Sacrament with the faithful singing hymns as they process solemnly.
For those who cannot attend a procession, Sri suggested Catholics can venerate the Blessed Sacrament at church or honour the Eucharist in a particular way among family and friends. “There is so much grace waiting for us in the Eucharist, and I’m honoured to help Catholics celebrate this year’s Corpus Christi as one of the most meaningful and transformational ones we’ve ever seen, he added.”