Precious Blood Catholic Church has been in Culpeper for 72 years and on June 3 they will host their first Eucharistic Procession, beginning at 12:45 p.m.
A once dying tradition, this Procession which celebrates the feast of Corpus Christi, is making a comeback in Catholic churches nationwide and Precious Blood is rising to the occasion.
Open to the public, regardless of denomination, the Eucharistic Procession will be held Sunday at 12:45 p.m.
“We take the consecrated host (communion) from mass into a monstrance and we bless the people with that at each station,” said Rev. Father Kevin Walsh, pastor at Precious Blood. “Seven weeks after Easter is the Feast of Pentecost and then nine Sundays after Easter is the Feast of Corpus Christi,” said Walsh.
The procession will begin in the church and proceed around the perimeter of the property stopping on each street where there will be reading, prayer, blessing with the Eucharist and then singing as the procession moves to the next street where the next station is located.
Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter Mane nobiscum Domine, urged for the procession on Corpus Christi when he said, “[Each] year let us also celebrate with particular devotion the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, with its traditional procession. Our faith in the God who took flesh in order to become our companion along the way needs to be everywhere proclaimed, especially in our streets and homes, as an expression of our grateful love and as an inexhaustible source of blessings.”
Walsh, who has been pastor at Precious Blood for two years, said he has no knowledge of this being celebrated at the church before.
“A lot of Catholic churches do it. It was very common in the past and it is coming back around.” He went on to say that “probably thousands of Catholic churches will have this procession.”
Of opening this procession to the community Julie Canavan, office staff at Precious Blood, said, ” first and foremost we want to bring people to the church; to the love of Christ. We want to invite them to worship.” Elaborating she continued saying, “Anytime you can open to others and bring people together you are working toward the goal of unification. We are one Catholic church but we are all part of the body of Christ. We are just a seed among all the other faiths.”
At the end of the procession, an invitation is open to gather in the church for a final benediction followed by refreshments in the parish hall.