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Feast of Corpus Christi in Polish Chicago

Corpus Christi or the Feast of Corpus Christi (Polish: Boże Ciało) is a festival of the Roman Catholic Church in honor of the real presence of the body (corpus) of Jesus Christ. It commemorates the Last Supper the day before Jesus' crucifixion and is celebrated on the Thursday (or, in some countries, the Sunday) after Trinity Sunday. It is a day of obligation and is a public holiday in many countries, including Poland. It originated in France in 1246. It has been one of the principal feasts of the Roman Catholic church since the mid-14th century but is also included in the calendar of some Anglican churches.

The most prominent feature is the procession. After the Mass, the Body of Christ (Corpus Christi) is placed in the monstrance. The priest carries monstrance to four different altars representing the earth's four corners. The altars are set up along the procession route, adorned with flowers and candles for the faithful to stop and adore in concordance with the local customs and traditions. At each altar, there are readings, prayers, and benedictions. As the stately processions wind through cities and towns, the faithful kneels as the procession comes to give public witness of faith. The processions can stretch blocks and miles in some places. While processing, the congregation follows and sings.

Below you will find a documentary of the Feast of Corpus Christi in Chicago organized by Parafia Świętej Trójcy or Holy Trinity Church in June 2022.

All photographs by ⓒ Grzegorz Lityński