Thursday, 30 May 2013

Corpus Christi Treat

Today, whatever you may hear to the contrary, is the feast of Corpus Christi. (This year, it is also the feast of St Joan of Arc).

We have the feast of Corpus Christi because the obvious time to celebrate this - Maundy Thursday - is hardly appropriate for the great high holiday the Institution of the Blessed Sacrament deserves.

The liturgical celebration of this Feast in our country has been moved, legitimately but in my view extremely unwisely, by our bishops to the nearest Sunday.

That does not, of course, mean that we cannot celebrate the feast today, in solidarity with Rome and many other parts of the world, not to mention our forefathers.

I am taking the day off work, and we are spending the day with friends.

In the meantime, here's your treat, the stunningly beautiful Ave Verum Corpus by William Byrd. Listen all the way through, to have your breath taken away.

Ave verum corpus, natum de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine,
cuius latus perforatum unda fluxit sanguine:
esto nobis praegustatum in mortis examine. 
O dulcis, O pie, O Iesu, fili Mariae: miserere mei. 

Hail, true Body, born of the Virgin Mary,
who having truly suffered, was sacrificed on the cross for mankind,
from whose pierced side flowed his blood:
May it be for us a foretaste in the trial of death.
O sweet, O pious, O Jesus, son of Mary: have mercy on me. 

(If you enjoyed this, last year I linked to Tallis' O Sacrum Convivium, which is also wonderful!)

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