Mayfair’s ecumenical Corpus Christi Procession

On Sunday 3rd of June we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – also known as the feast of Corpus Christi.

Processions around and across the neighbourhood are a custom of many parishes, and Farm Street Church held a joint procession through the streets of Mayfair.

“This tradition of the Church is an opportunity to witness to our faith, worshipping Our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament” says Fr Anthony Nye SJ, member of the Parish team.
Curious looks by passer-by and their questions about what kind of demonstration is in place can be simply answered by explaining all the different elements of the procession: the large Cross at the beginning, the Monstrance showing to everyone the Blessed Sacrament, the slow walk in procession after the priest. Taking the Body of Christ on to the streets shows who the faithful are, as well as tries to gather in the lost sheep.

“‘This is my body which will be given up for you’: in the Mass the priest says those words in the name of Christ and the Lord becomes especially present. In this procession we believe that Christ is among us in a special way, giving his blessing and showing his love to us and to everyone around through the streets of Mayfair” Fr Anthony further explains.

The procession was organised by the three main churches in Mayfair – Farm Street, the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral and the Grosvenor Chapel. The ecumenical aspect of the event was central.

For the first time, it involved also the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre with whom the parish of Farm Street works in relation to various projects for the Middle East.

“Christ’s command to ‘do this’ in memory of him is a mandate to play our part in Christ’s body, the Church” says Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, Superior of the Mount Street Jesuit Community. “This call also invites us to seek reconciliation between Christians of other

Churches and ecclesial communities, to do all we can as a truly Catholic community to show how Christians are united as a vital force in our society. The call to be one body is the ardent desire of the Lord.”

Starting from Farm Street Church around midday, the procession stopped first at the Grosvenor Chapel, where there was a prayer service with exchange of the sign of peace. Fr Richard, the priest in charge, warmly welcomed the crowd.

For the next and last stop, the procession reached the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, received by Fr Mykola, chancellor of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Great Britain, and by the wonderful voices of the Ukrainian choir. The event ended with the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.