By Susan Gately - 02 June, 2018
Ireland’s largest Eucharistic procession takes place this Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi, in Cork. This is the 93rd Cork Eucharistic procession and according to its chief marshal, Tony Duggan, around 10,000 people are expected to take part.
The Eucharistic Procession is a significant part of Cork’s religious heritage, said the Bishop of Cork and Ross, John Buckley.
“Our faith is not something that we celebrate behind closed doors; it is something that is meant to affect our daily lives. Five years ago, while speaking at the procession, Archbishop Brown said that we worship Jesus in our churches for 51 Sundays of the year. On the Feast of Corpus Christi, we worship Him publicly in the streets. We should seek opportunities to celebrate our faith in public and give witness to the faith that has been given to us. The Eucharistic procession is an ideal way of doing that,” Bishop Buckley said.
The procession began in 1926 when a group of businessmen in the city approached the then-Bishop, Daniel Cohalan, with a view to having a Eucharistic procession in the city to mark the Feast of Corpus Christi. It was hoped that such an event might heal the division and bitterness in civil society at the time.
Participants in the Eucharistic procession will include representatives from all the religious societies in Cork, the Legion of Mary, the Pioneer Total Abstinence Society, young people from the Share Executive, Third Order Franciscans, a group of up to 20 first communicants from the Cathedral parish and a sizeable number of people representing the city parishes.
“Men and women, boys and girls, all walking behind their own banners,” said Mr Duggan.
Those marching in the procession will assemble in the grounds of the North Cathedral at 3.30pm. The route of the procession, led by Bishop Buckley carrying the monstrance, will be along Roman Street, Upper John Street, along Camden Quay, St Patrick’s Bridge and St Patrick’s Street en route to Daunt’s Square. The procession will take about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, from 3.45pm, a religious ceremony will begin in Daunt’s Square involving the recitation of the rosary, invocations, sacred music and hymns sung by a visiting choir – the Choir of the Church of the Incarnation, Frankfield.
“The procession will arrive with the Bishop and monstrance, the City Council and Lord Mayor and County Mayor, and benediction will start,” explained the chief marshal. Guest preacher at the ceremony at Daunt’s Square will be Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns.
For several years Cork City Council has been streaming the event live on the internet to allow participation by patients in hospitals or nursing homes. “Believe it or not, people from all over the world people tune in to see the Daunt’s Square ceremony and Cork City looking its beautiful self,” Mr Duggan told CatholicIreland.
The live stream will begin at 3.45 on www.corkcity.ie/tv from 3.45pm approx – by kind permission of the Chief Executive, Cork City Council.
This year, due to the Annual Cork City Marathon, the Corpus Christi Procession is starting an hour later than usual.