The parish community of St John’s Cathedral, Norwich, took to the open air last Sunday for the Corpus Christi procession.
Fr Simon Davies celebrated the Mass in the cathedral, which was followed by a silent procession into Earlham Road and Unthank Road. The congregation paused for a time of adoration and congregational singing in the cathedral garden before processing back into the building.
“We are let loose on the world, said Fr Simon in his homily, “to set it on fire with prayer, with virtue and with goodness.”
He spoke of the power of Christ truly present in the sacrament. “Jesus Christ nourishes us with himself,” he said. “The greater absorbs the lesser. When we consume this gift of himself, he conversely absorbs us.”
The procession was symbol of the Christian calling. Speaking as if on behalf of Christ, Fr Simon encouraged his listeners: “Break out of the Upper Room and go out into the street and tell the world that I am alive.”
He evoked the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith. “The Eucharist is the source of the bubbling river which is the Christian life,” he said. “It is us standing on the Mount of Olives and at the foot of the Cross…us running towards the empty tomb…This is the gate of heaven.”
In the sacrament, he went on, the Lord is present to us in reality, not in our imagination. “Not a moment with him is a waste. He is alive and is our life. The Lord leads us through our wandering and dryness looking for his promise, out of our loneliness into his true and eternal home.”
Canon David Paul, Dean of St John’s Cathedral, joined Fr Simon at the end of Mass to lead the procession through the street and back into the garden, where the choir led singing in English and Latin.