The Church of England’s Common Worship Book, refers to the Thursday after Trinity Sunday as The Day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of Holy Communion (Corpus Christi). Of course, we remember Jesus commanding us to “Do this in remembrance of me” on Maundy Thursday, but, as that is a very sombre day in the middle of Holy Week, the Church has, thoughout the centuries, held this as a more joyful celebration of the act which is central to our worship. At times, it has been more popular in Catholic countries, such as Spain, Italy, Austria, the Philippines and South American countries, but many Anglican churches also celebrate the day.
Here on Tenerife, the most notable celebration involves the sand and flower carpets made by various people and groups in La Orotava, and one or two other places on the island. The tradition in Orotava began 101 years ago, and you can see above, the 2019 presentation, celebrating the centenary of the tradition.
The Collect for Corpus Christi
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament you have given us the memorial of your passion: grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries of your body and blood that we may know within ourselves and show forth in our lives the fruits of your redemption; for you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Fr Ron’s Reflection on today’s readings
The First Reading – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The Gospel Reading – John 6: 51-58
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”
Here is a short video showing the preparation of the carpets, and, in the spirit of ecumenism, part of the local celebration in La Orotava.