The Feast of the Most Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, or Corpus Christi, will be celebrated in a High Mass in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street in New Haven, on Sunday, June 6, at 2:00 pm. The Mass will be followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The celebrant for the service will be Father Robert Turner, Pastor of St. Ambrose Parish, North Branford.
While the origins of the Feast of Corpus Christi date from the early 13th century when St. Juliana of Mont-Cornillon urged the French hierarchy establish a feast celebrating the Real presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of Eucharist in northern France, in was in 1268 that Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of Corpus Christi universally in the Western Church. The pope requested that St. Thomas Aquinas compose the texts for the liturgy of feast, which include the propers sung at Mass, notably the sequence Lauda Sion and the chants sung in the procession and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Benediction that follows the service is the supreme devotional ceremony of adoration of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, in which prayers and hymns are addressed to Our Lord in the Host exposed in a monstrance placed on the altar. The concludes with the reposition of the Sacrament in the tabernacle.
Music for the service, performed by members of the Schola Cantorum of The Saint Gregory Society, will include the Gregorian Mass Ordinary IV, “Cunctipotens Genitor,” motets by Charles Gounod and César Franck, the proper Gregorian chants, and organ music by Alexandre Guilmant and César Franck.