'The Food and Drink of Eternal Life'

Corpus Christi 2005 at Saint Faith's

The Thursday after Trinity Sunday marks the feast of Corpus Christi, the day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of the Eucharist: the name is Latin for 'The Body of Christ'.

This year, as well as the traditional thanksgiving celebrations, the service incorporated not just the blessing of Eucharistic Ministers for both our churches but also the licensing of Father Mark Waters as Assistant Priest of the United Benefice. The Eucharist was celebrated by the Rt Revd David Jennings, the Bishop of Warrington, who preached, and read the Licence from the Bishop of Liverpool, giving it to Fr Mark with the words 'Receive this cure of souls, which is both yours and mine'.

During the course of the service, he and the other licensed ministers of the parish (Fr Neil, Fr Dennis, Fr Peter and our two Readers, Fred Nye and Jackie Parry) were blessed and dedicated; at the conclusion of the proceedings the lay eucharistic ministers of both our churches were likewise blessed and rededicated. These latter, in the words of the liturgy 'have been chosen to serve this United Benefice by ministering the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ and by taking the Holy Communion to the Sick,' duties which they perform week by week at St Faith's and St Mary's.

Following the service, the bishop joined the congregation for a party in the vicarage garden, where the blessing of the Spirit had rested on the weather on a balmy evening. The general air of celebration was further enlivened later on by the triumphant sounding of car horns from what seemed like the rest of Liverpool, as they returned past the vicagare from celebrating Liverpool Football Club's return from Istanbul with their dramatically-won European trophy! The day was fittingly an occasion for double celebration in our part of Merseyside....

The first row of pictures show Fr Mark reading the Gospel and kneeling to receive his licence from the bishop, before being joined by the other licensed ministers. The second row shows the blessing of the eucharistic ministers, and posing for pictures at the end of the service. Click on a picture for a larger version.


Words and pictures by Chris Price (a graduate of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and for whom this day has always been very special!)


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