Friday, June 29, 2012

Corpus Christi

A few weeks ago I received a seemingly random email from our parish office asking for me to volunteer to carry a statue in a Corpus Christi procession. For those who don't know, we attend Christ the King Catholic Church in Manville, a mission parish run by Redemptorists from the Warsaw Province (Warsaw as in Poland). We have a sister parish a bit further down the road Sacred Heart.

After consulting the weekly bulletin I learned it was to be a procession down Main Street after Mass from one Church to the other. I talked with Alison and I decided it sounded like something interesting to do. So not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into, I said I would participate and we headed to the early Mass at Sacred Heart on June 10th to participate in the procession.

Jackie was being her usual Jackie at Church self, and after several loud outbursts, I headed to the narthex to hang out with the other loud kids, and late attendees. This Mass had a lot of interesting things; we had the Knights of Columbus in their full regalia with swords and frilly admiral type hats, (Chapeaux?). I have seen this several times in our Parish, but never anywhere in the Archdiocese of Newark, ( I guess they are afraid of swords up in civilized North Jersey), we had the Holy Name Society with their banners, the First Communion Kids in their suits and dresses, Confirmation students in robes, and a whole slew of little kids in traditional Polish folk costumes (Alison's research shows these outfits originate near Krakow), parts of mass were in Polish. Sacred Heart has Mass in Polish, we don't at Christ the King.

I met up with the Statue carrying group outside of the Church. I guess they asked for a bunch of volunteers, and didn't get many, I was the only one that showed up in a suit so I was asked to join in. I was the only one that didn't speak Polish, so I just followed along. Alison and Jackie also joined in the procession.

The procession starts at Sacred Heart

The First Alter: The Eucharist is Sacrifice

Second Altar: The Eucharist is Food For Our Souls

Third Altar: The Eucharist is The Pledge of Eternal Life

Fourth Altar: The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity

The procession concludes at Christ the King Church

For our tiny little Parishes it was a pretty neat little event. We shut down traffic through Manville for a little while, and I was surprised to see so many participants. Both of the Churches were packed.

We are currently going through a "Renewing the Faith in Manville" process directed by the Bishop to determine the future of the two Parishes. With an older congregation and a number of catastrophic insurance claims from storm damage in recent years the status of both parishes is in question.

I'd say the faith is pretty strong in our community, I still fear that Christ the King may end up merging into Sacred Heart at the end of the process, but it's a pretty strong little community, and we are happy to be a little part of it.

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