11 June 2009

Feast of Corpus Christi

He fed them with the fat of corn, alleluia, and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (Psalm) Rejoice to God our helper; sing aloud to the God of Jacob. Glory be to the Father... He fed them...

We drove from Trumau into Vienna to celebrate the great feast with Cardinal Schoenborn at the Stephansdom. It was a mixed experience, but mostly a very positive one. I say "mixed" because of the oddity of celebrating a twentieth century (modern) ritual with eighteenth century (baroque) music in a twelfth century (gothic) cathedral. Although the orchestral style of music is not the most appropriate for the Mass - that primacy belongs to gregorian chant, with sacred polyphony in the second place - it was great to hear Mozart in the cathedral of Vienna. Would that it had adorned the rite of Mass for which it was written.

After the Mass, the procession. As far as memory serves, this was, believe it or not, the first Corpus Christi procession that I've attended. Lisa has attended many, but I've had the misfortune either to have attended not a one, or to have attended one or many so forgettable as to be completely gone from memory. After such a preface I need hardly remark that I was greatly impressed by what I saw: a great public display of faith in our Lord's Presence in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. The huge procession began from the Stephansdom and wound its way through the city streets, stopping traffic all along the way.

The big guy in the middle was my favorite in the whole procession.

The priests who had concelebrated the Mass were appropriately vested in gothic chasubles.

The Cardinal carried our Lord beneath the canopy,
and behind a rather intimidating looking fellow.

We discovered that the ITI's own Christiaan is a Knight of Malta!
If you count heads from the left (ignoring the men in grey), he's the second one.

The Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.


Somebody Calls Me Nana said...

This is so awesome! I have never seen a Corpus Christi Procession. What a loss to the American Catholic. It makes me SAD!

s.Celina said...

Is it true that you don't have processions in the States at all?? Forgive the question of the ignorant... Did I understand you correctly?

John said...

Dear s. Celina,

There are some processions in the States still, in fact the parish my wife grew up in had them regularly, but processions are the exception rather than the norm.