Every day a eucharistic procession

Hundreds of people followed Archbishop Richard Smith carrying the Blessed Sacrament through the streets east of St. Joseph Basilica during Corpus Christi procession June 7.

WCR PHOTOS | THANDIWE KONGUAVI

Hundreds of people followed Archbishop Richard Smith carrying the Blessed Sacrament through the streets east of St. Joseph Basilica during Corpus Christi procession June 7.

June 15, 2015
THANDIWE KONGUAVI
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

The temperature soared to 27 degrees and the sun was shining on Corpus Christi Sunday June 7, but it was the Son who lit up the faces of the faithful taking part in the procession in downtown Edmonton.

About half of the hundreds of parishioners who filled St. Joseph Basilica for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ Mass with Archbishop Richard Smith took part in the outdoor procession which followed.

Those who did join the procession called the experience of walking with the Blessed Sacrament an "honour" and a "privilege."

"You look around at the people and they all seem really peaceful and happy, and they're trying to sing with the choir," said June Riopel. "It's a privilege because it is Corpus Christi; it is Christ we're following."

Following the noon Mass, Smith led the outdoor procession with the Blessed Sacrament into the local neighbourhood, starting along Jasper Avenue and stopping at four prayer stations, including Edmonton General Hospital, St. Joachim Church, Ezio Faraone Park and Monsignor William Irwin Park (Grandin School).

The Corpus Christi procession has been a tradition for Adilson de Azevedo, who also participated in the tradition back in Angola, bringing the Blessed Sacrament from the church to the hospital.

"There are people there who cannot walk, so once a year at the same time we would go for the sick people," he said.

A choir led hymns which were sung along the procession route as participants witnessed to others their love of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

"It's nice to bring out the Eucharist especially on a nice day and show our faith to everyone that's around," said Richard Jones, who participated in the procession for the first time with his two small sons Ari and Nathaniel.

"I really enjoyed it and the music was beautiful."

Jesus offered his life on the cross for the world so the gift of the Eucharist is not an exclusive possession, Smith said during Mass, explaining why the celebration of Corpus Christi is concluded by going out into the streets. Through the gift of himself, Jesus gives the world the hope it seeks.

The procession is also a reminder to believers that each and every day our lives must be a eucharistic procession, said Smith.

In that daily "eucharistic procession," we make known to others the love, mercy and truth that Jesus is love, that he is present, and he wants to touch and transform the lives of each and every person, he said.

As Communion was received, the archbishop prayed that the most sacred gift of the Lord would so transform us that we could be everyday authentic disciples of our Lord.