The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for "Body of Christ") widely celebrated in many Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, honors the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. While Maundy Thursday is the actual day of commemoration of this event, the solemn nature of Holy Week and the focus on Christ's Passion on Good Friday overshadow that aspect of Maundy Thursday. In order for there to be a joyful commemoration of the sacrament, Pope Urban IV established the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264, and ordered it to be celebrated every year on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday.
On the Thursday after Trinity Sunday this year, June 7 at 7:30 p.m., Calvary Episcopal Church will observe Corpus Christi with a special service: Solemn Evensong and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Evensong, a service of sung evening prayer, with lessons, hymns, psalms and canticles, is a service with which we are thoroughly familiar at Calvary. At solemn evensong, incense is used in procession and the altar is censed during the Magnificat.
Evensong will be followed by the devotional ceremony known as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. This service begins with the exposition of the consecrated Host in a special vessel known as a monstrance set upon the altar.
You are invited to join us in this beautiful service and at a reception immediately following in the Swan Garden and Refectory. The Rev. Jeff Murph, Rector of St. Thomas Church in Oakmont, will be the preacher.