By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Catholics all over Brooklyn marked the Feast of Corpus Christi with masses, processions, and benedictions on June 2 celebrating one of bedrock beliefs of the church – that the Eucharist distributed during Communion is the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Corpus Christi is Latin for “Body of Christ.”
By tradition, Catholics take part in a procession through the streets of a neighborhood near their parish following mass and pray and sing. The Eucharist, known as the Blessed Sacrament, is placed in a monstrance and is held aloft by a member of the clergy during the procession.
At Saint Finbar Catholic Church, hundreds of parishioners followed their pastor, the Rev. Michael Louis Gelfant, through the streets of Bath Beach singing “Christ Be Beside Me,” “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” and other hymns.
The participants included dozens of children dressed in crisp white dresses and suits who had recently received their first Holy Communion.
Curious onlookers waved at the religious procession. Some took pictures with their cell phone cameras.
After the procession, the parishioners returned to the church at 138 Bay 20th St., where a benediction took place. Noting the hot and humid weather the participants marched in, Gelfant said, “We were sweating, but we were sweating for Jesus!”