Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

A history of the origins of the Feast of Corpus Christi

Today in the Ordinary Form is the Feast of Corpus Christi, and for those celebrating according to both OF and EF calendars the likely date for Corpus Christi Processions. I obviously assume readers are in fact intending going on a Corpus Christi Procession if they are physically well enough….

Although Corpus Christi is now such an established part of the ecclesiastical year it was not always so. In the history of the Church it is relatively new, an innovation of the thirteenth century, arising as much as anything from popular devotion. It was also one that continued to become ever more popular. For those who do not know of its origins, or who are unaware of how long it took to be celebrated universally, the Catholic World Report this past week had a useful and succinct historical account. This looks both at the origins of the Feast in the Low Countries and also at the events at the Papal Curia that delayed for decades widespread awareness of this new addition to the calendar.

The article can be read at How the Feast of Corpus Christi developed

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