Corpus Christi is a Christian feast. Corpus Christi means Body of Jesus Christ.
The feast falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.
It is meant to associate it with Jesus institution of the Eucharist during
the Last Supper, on Maundy Thursday. The feast is officially known as the
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Corpus Christi is primarily celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church. The feast
is also celebrated by some Anglo-Catholic.
This desire is said to have been increased by a vision of the Church under
the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the
absence of such a solemnity. In 1208, St. Juliana reported her first vision
of Christ in which she was instructed to plead for the institution of the
feast of Corpus Christi. The vision was repeated for the next 20 years but
she kept it a secret.
In 1246, Bishop Robert convened a synod and ordered a celebration of Corpus
Christi to be held each year thereafter.
The celebration of Corpus Christi became widespread only after both St. Juliana
and Bishop Robert de Thorete had died.
In many parts of Europe, Corpus Christi was a time for the performance of
mystery plays. In Catalonia it is celebrated with the tradition of the Dancing
In Roman Catholic, the feast is known as "the Feast of the Body and Blood of
Christ". Corpus Christi Church has a long-standing dedication to traditions of
liturgical music. The church also hosts "Music Before 1800", an early music
A new liturgy for the feast was composed by St. Thomas Aquinas. This liturgy
has come to be used not only on the Feast of Corpus Christi itself but also
throughout the liturgical year at events related to the Blessed Sacrament.
The hymn Aquinas composed for Vespers of Corpus Christi.
In the Church of England it is known as "The Day of Thanksgiving for the
Institution of Holy Communion". Some people, particularly children, receive
their first Communion during Corpus Christi. This practice, also known as
the Eucharist, involves people accepting blessed bread and wine (or grape
juice) in memory of Jesus Christ's body and blood.
Historically, the festival was accompanied by music, dancing and fireworks.
Corpus Christi is a public holiday in Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Grenada, Haiti,
Liechtenstein, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago.