|It’s procession time! – May 26|
By Vernon Khelawan
In this Year of Faith, the annual Corpus Christi processions through the streets of Port of Spain, San Fernando and Scarborough offer Catholics a wonderful opportunity to publicly profess what they believe.
Christians, particularly members of the Catholic Church, have venerated the Holy Eucharist since the year 1246. Corpus Christi, Latin for The Body of Christ, is a moveable feast which is celebrated locally on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday – but in other places on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday.
Roman Catholics in this archdiocese have always looked forward to celebrating Corpus Christi; they have always enjoyed participating in the petal-strewn procession, with the Archbishop holding aloft the monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament, in an unabashed demonstration of their belief that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.
The procession points to our inclination as Catholics for ceremony and, to a certain extent, pageantry, what with the Blessed Sacrament being carried under an elaborate canopy and accompanied by the clergy in colourful vestments, giving the show of faith a feel of regal pomp.
Since Corpus Christi has always been observed as a public holiday in Trinidad and Tobago, the show of faith is executed without rush, enabling participants ample time for prayer, veneration and fellowship.
Tradition apart, the celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi provides a good opportunity for people of faith to renew their love for the Blessed Sacrament and, as disciples of Jesus, to commit themselves to make Trinidad and Tobago a better place for all its citizens.