Sunday, June 14, 2009

Corpus Christi: Not For Dogs

Today marks the feast of Corpus Christi: the Body and Blood of Christ.

One of the cool liturgical things we get to do on a major feast is to sing or chant a Sequence prior to the Alleluia and Gospel. In Medieval times sequences were abundant; in modern times it has been pared down to about four times a year.

Some of the best sequences were written about the Eucharist by Thomas Aquinas. (Hey, anything by Aquinas is deep!) This line from the Lauda Sion jumped out at me at Mass.
Hail, angelic Bread of Heaven,
Now the pilgrim’s hoping-leaven,
Yea, the Bread to children given
That to dogs must not be thrown
How right. Let us approach our Eucharistic Lord with humility and a clean heart. Lord we believe, help our unbelief!
Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food:
But with ends how opposite!
Here 't is life: and there 't is death:
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.


Karinann said...

Unfortunately the Mass I attended last evening did not include the Sequence. Magnificat had it printed in the Mass for today so at least I was able to read it. It is a powerful prayer.

Nod said...

Oh, too sad for you to miss it! I love Sequences, they're so ... Catholic!


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