Pope Francis Moves Corpus Christi

As Deacon Greg Kandra and FarodiRoma note, the it is reported that Pope Francis will move the celebration of Corpus Christi to Sunday, following the Italian calendar rather the Vatican calendar, which celebrates it on Thursday. The move would be aimed at increasing participation on the feast from both the Roman faithful and pilgrims.

The Vatican continues to use two deacons for the procession, rather than carrying the Blessed Sacrament on the the “popemobile.” This began in 2013, when Francis participated on foot behind the popemobile rather than riding on it on a prie-dieu. In subsequent years, the pope has taken a car to St. Mary Major rather than participating in the procession out of a desire to increase the focus on the Blessed Sacrament, rather than himself.


  1. As Deacon Greg Kandra and FarodiRoma note, the Vatican has announced that Pope Francis has moved the celebration of Corpus Christi to Sunday…

    for what it’s worth: the Vatican has not made any such announcement (yet).

    and Deacon Kandra’s source is FarodiRoma, and so far, FarodiRoma is the only outlet to report this.

    so, I’m kinda skeptical about this — not least because FarodiRoma has been wrong about this kind of “Pope Francis is considering [something or other]” thing before.

  2. Simple solution that makes everyone happy: restore the Corpus Christi octave, and permit an external solemnity of the feast on a Sunday. Done and done. It can even be a simple octave without octave days.

    1. @Ryan Ellis:
      Except, if you’ve read up on the evolutions and reforms of the calendar throughout history and especially in the 20th century, you’ll know that this would be highly displeasing to lots of people who accept the post-V2 liturgical reforms. There are only two octaves now, and for a reason that is compelling to many or most of us. And “external solemnity,” what’s that? It’s not in the rite as reformed.

      If you were writing tongue-in-cheek or impishly, then disregard my reply. 🙂


      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB:
        Let us not confuse the post-V2 liturgical reforms with Vatican II itself. The former are merely the implementation of the latter based on prudential judgment. It is no rejection of Vatican II to hold that the implementation of the reforms called by it over shot the mark. If was valid to call for reform of a rite that served the church for over a 1000 years then how can anyone object to calls of a reform of one that is merely 50 years old? Reform for thee but not for me?

        If we are to hold that the present reform is irreformable, then should we not also end all calls to introduce more changes that move it further away from our liturgical tradition? Also, if the present reform is to be cast into stone, then is it not time to accept as fully legitimate those options already in the rite for a more traditional form of the liturgy?

      2. @Fr. Anthony Forte:
        Fr. Forte,

        You’ve made your point here many, many times, and my response, as always, is:

        The rest of the Church accepts Vatican II and accepts what Pope Paul VI said repeatedly and very strongly: the reformed Mass of 1969 is faithful to Vatican II. You’re free to hold your idiosyncratic opinion, but it’s not persuasive to most other people.

        The Mass of Paul VI is not set in stone and of course it’s reformable. But future reforms would deepen what happened in 1969 and carry its trajectory further. I suppose some things could be scaled back and some ‘traditional’ elements giver greater emphasis in a future reform – but within the liturgical understanding of V2 and 1969, not in opposition to it. All this is distinct from your desire to undo much of 1969, interpret V2 very selectively (and strangely), and in fact undo much of that the Council fathers called for. You cite a few cherry-picked phrases of V2 to argue against 1969, but it’s obvious that you don’t really accept V2 and your starting point is preconciliar.

        Good look with your minority agenda. But in my judgment: Not. Going. To. Happen.

        Enough on this topic! It’s all been said here many, many times. Fr. Forte, please don’t bring up this agenda over and over at Pray Tell, especially when it’s not related to the post you’re commenting on.


      3. @Anthony Ruff, OSB:
        I, too, accept Vatican II and the 1969 Missal, as written. That is not the question. I would respectfully ask you to refrain from stating or implying otherwise.

  3. Many elements of the Roman Calendar–particularly feast days, as I understand this process–were created to relieve the burden and drudgery of working people, to create a time for celebration and rest that was not linked to Sunday, as the one work-free day for many people in Europe. Now, however, that relief has become a burden in our world, as people are forced to rework schedules or take time off from work, when they can, to fulfill a holy day obligation. It was the burdensome nature of this once-liberating requirement that caused the American bishops, well before Vatican II, to limit the number of holy days of obligation to six. Rearranging the schedule in light of contemporary life, so that people may actually celebrate the feasts rather than skip their observance, seems to me to be consistent with the longstanding practice of the Roman Church. The same might be said of efforts (slow as they may be) to unify the observance of Easter and even fix the Sunday on which it is observed–to take account of the situation of the churches and the need to unify our celebration of our central faith event, despite what the Quartdecimams among us might wish.

    1. @Gordon E. Truitt:
      I expect that your reasoning is correct but the approach seems deficient. Of course some will find it impossible to go to Mass during the working week but many will be able to go once in a while. It would help if clergy made an effort to offer Mass during lunch hour and shortly after the end of the working day both near places of work. This applies both for days of obligation and other important days. If a Sunday can have 12 Masses I don’t see why a single Mass at 11.30 am during the week can be considered trying hard.

  4. The Easter date will not be moved to a fixed date in our lifetimes, and many lifetimes thereafter. The Russian Orthodox Church would not approve it, and without the Russian Orthodox Church, the rest of the Eastern and Oriental Churches would be very doubtful to move. For the Western churches to move further in that direction would only make matters worse with the other churches.

    There is one possible change to the Easter date that the Roman church could feasibly consider: changing back to the Julian calculation. And then asking if a revised calculus could be adopted along the lines that have been explored within the Eastern churches. And, of course, what about the rest of the Western churches?

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