Good morning and a happy Corpus Christi Day to you all,
I hope you are all well and enjoying the wonderful sunshine. Not wanting to believe too much in the “English” sun, I have been punished by a sunburn…. that has told me…
The extra dose of vitamin D is probably needed in the run-up to the priesting on 26 June.
Prayers for both Sally Croft (Curate in Ingatestone) and myself are most welcome.And please also keep Timnat in your prayers who is going to be licensed as Lay Worker on 27 June at 5pm at the Cathedral.June promises to be month of celebrations – starting, of course, today.
Traditionally, processions would be held on “Fronleichnam” as Corpus Christi is called in German:Priests with monstrances sheltered under a brocade canopy with thurible-swinging servers and hundreds of people walking the parish bounds – all with one goal in mind (is my shameful assumption): the Parish barbecue!
In the Rhineland, this tradition was very common, probably because we are so close to Liège (or Lüttich) where it is said Saint Juliana had a vision in 1209 of the moon which was darkened in part. In her vision, Christ explained that the moon stood for the liturgical year and the dark spot pointed at a missing feast day celebrating the holy sacraments of bread and wine.
Us Rhinelanders are crafty people and so we used this opportunity to the full. The feast of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist does fall of course on Maundy Thursday – but Holy Week hampers good parties a little bit. The weather is usually nicer in early summer as well… so why not celebrate properly on Corpus Christi?
Our friends in Mülheim, a suburb of Cologne, have taken the whole celebration to a new level though. Here is a picture of their “Mülheimer Gottestracht” (which literary means the Carrying of God in Mülheim): Probably from as early as the 14th century they started processing on the Rhine on boats. The sacraments are taken to a boat which then leads the procession towards Cologne Cathedral (always on the water though) and then back to the starting point, the chapel of St Clement and Mauritius.From top of the “swimming church”, one of the flag ships of the Kön-Düsseldorfer line, the priest blesses the river, the boats and the people who walk alongside on land.Unfortunately, the procession has been cancelled for the second time this year, but I do hope that I will get to experience it one day.
Although we do not hold a procession at Ascension with All Saints, we do have an hour of Adoration of the Holy Sacrament next Wednesday in church. Details to follow.
And while we are looking at our calendars: don’t forget to visit the community garden! Bring along your seeds/plants and see what is growing already. I am reliably informed that strawberries shall be available soon…
On TUESDAYS you can enjoy tea and cake in the community garden between 2.30 and 4pm – provided by your friendly clergy team.All welcome!
We hope to see you soon!
With celebratory cheers,
Rev Julia LaceyAssistant Curate
Ascension with All Saints, Chelmsfordhttp://ascensionchelmsford.org.uk/