Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Corpus Christi 

Thursday is a holiday here in Bavaria, not all over Germany. It is Corpus Christi, and I was a little interested in what the actual meaning of it was. There have been quite a few holidays recently, all tied into Easter. Starting with Good Friday, Easter, the ascension of Christ, and Pentecost. But I couldn't figure out what this one would be. Obviously Corpus Christi means "body of Christ" but what exactly is the event being remembered. I asked around a little and never got an answer, the few Germans I asked kept saying "Fronleichnam" which really was of no help. I finally turned to the trusty keeper of all information, the internet. Rather than rewrite this info, I'll share it directly from the website:

Corpus Christi Day (Fronleichnam) commemorates the Holy Eucharist, i.e. the ritual consumption of bread, or rather wafers which, according to catholic practice, become the consecrated symbol for the flesh of the Crucified Redeemer after the priest has blessed it. The German name for this feast day derives from "fro" which is the Old High German word for Lord. Fronleichnam means 'the body of the Lord' or 'Corpus Christi' which is the name used in the English language. In regions with a primarily Catholic population the Church organizes a procession which usually sets out from the town's church and returns to it at the end. The so called Holiest of Holies (Das Allerheiligste), the monstrance containing the wafers, is carried by the priest under a canopy. If it is a nice sunny day an altar may have been erected in front of the Church, and both the Church and the streets where the procession passes through are colourfully decorated with greenery (usually birch tree branches) and flowers.

Since we are living in a primarily Catholic town, I'm wondering if they will have a procession tomorrow. If I would have known sooner I would have asked at Jacob's kindergarten. So, at least now you all know further what Corpus Christi means, it is not just a place in Texas...

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