Maybe you’re finally getting around to putting away those Easter decorations, but we all still have cause to celebrate! Even though the holy season of Easter does end this weekend with the Solemnity of Pentecost, our sacred celebrations do not end! Following next weekend (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity) is the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, or the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. I’d like you to mark that date, June 23rd, in your calendars, as Corpus Christi is reserved as a preeminent celebration of the real Presence of Our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist. That Sunday, we will participate in a tradition dating back over 700 years: The Corpus Christi procession. This will be the fourth year that we at St. Mary Parish have processed through the streets
of Menomonee Falls, witnessing to the Truth of Christ in the world. The 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Masses will be celebrated as usual on that weekend, but I ask you to prayerfully consider joining us for the 10:30 a.m. Mass (or immediately after the 10:30 Mass), where, after the Prayer after Communion, we will process out of the church, with everyone following the Blessed Sacrament, into the community. Mass will technically end once we have re-entered the church and prayed the prayers of Benediction. For those who are physically unable to process, I invite you to join us for whatever portion you are able.
In addition to the procession, I intend to mark the importance of this Solemnity by celebrating that Mass Ad Orientem, or Ad Dominum, facing the Lord. This simply means that, just as we are all facing the Eucharist, eyes fixed on Our Lord, during the procession, we will use that same posture during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, including the priest. As I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I will face the cross and tabernacle just as you do. Many of you are familiar with that prayerful posture as we pray that way for the Saturday morning Mass. We will all, myself included, face the Liturgical East (or the Altar and the Tabernacle), during the Rite of Penance, the singing of the Gloria, the Creed, the prayers, and during the Eucharistic Prayer. As I said, the posture of the priest is the only thing that
is different in a Mass that is prayed Ad Orientem. The beauty of this gesture is in the fact that together, priest and people, we will be facing the same direction, toward Christ. The key to responsible and attentive participation in the Holy Mass is to consciously step away from the mundane in this world that is passing away, and to throw ourselves into the sacred mystery of the Lord's coming. The priest, the shepherd, leads the people toward Him and into that responsible, attentive, and active participation.
It is really that simple. It is really that powerful. And, when you listen to the prayers and the words, the rubrics, the direction of the priest and action of his words and prayers are in sync, aligned, if you will, toward our Lord and Savior, God the Father, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit given to us at Pentecost. May our Blessed Mother always watch over us and direct us, point us, more intimately to her Son and our Lord.
For more information, please see our parish website for some of the notes that I have previously written for the bulletins on this topic.