On Friday, April 27, Everest students participated in the annual Eucharistic procession on campus. The entire school was in attendance, from preschoolers to our soon-to-graduate seniors. Students and staff sang the songs “I am the Bread” and “Here I am to Worship” and prayed decades of the rosary as they processed around campus. The procession ended in the high school gym where Father Thomas gave a brief exhortation about devotion to the Eucharist, followed by solemn benediction. During the exhortation, Father especially encouraged the seniors to stay close to Jesus after they leave Everest.
*“Very early (in the fourteenth century) the custom developed of carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a splendid procession through the town after the Mass on Corpus Christi Day. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) solemnly approved and recommended the procession on Corpus Christi as a public profession of the Catholic faith in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Sacrament…During the later Middle Ages these processions developed into splendid pageants of devotion and honor to the Blessed Sacrament. They are still publicly held, and often with the ancient splendor, in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, in the Catholic sections of Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, Hungary, and in the Slavic countries and South America. Sovereigns and princes, presidents and ministers of the state, magistrates, members of trade and craft guilds, and honor guards of the armed forces accompany the liturgical procession while the church bells peal, bands play sacred hymns, and the faithful kneel in front of their homes to adore the Eucharistic Lord. The houses along the route of the procession are decorated with little birch trees and green boughs. Candles and pictures adorn the windows; and in many places, especially in Latin countries, the streets are covered with carpets of grass and flowers, often wrought in beautiful designs.”
This tradition is honored at Everest, but held earlier in the school year so our senior class can participate before they graduate. The annual Eucharistic procession is a powerful moment for the entire school to pray together and show our devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist.
*Excerpt taken from www.catholicculture.org and Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs by Francis X. Weiser, S.J., Harcourt, Brace and Company, New York, 1958