Corpus Christi – a high festival in the Catholic church year

Celebration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Lake procession Traunkirchen (Old postcard)

In the liturgy the feast is called “High Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ”, regionally it is also called Prangertag or Blood Day. In English and other languages the Latin name of the Hochfest, Corpus Christi, is used.

The Corpus Christi procession takes place every year on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. The Feast of Corpus Christi originated in Liège in 1246. In Vienna, Corpus Christi processions can be traced back to at least 1334. The Corpus Christi procession was a central point in the religious life of the city’s population.

A special form of Corpus Christi procession has developed in the Salzkammergut: “lake processions” take place in Traunkirchen and Hallstatt (Upper Austria). One reason for this form of procession, apart from the spatial problem, was especially the religious aspect, since the Eucharistic secret had to be brought into the consciousness of the participants in a psychologically impressive and pedagogically effective way.

In Austria, Bavaria and other Catholic countries a procession without music is inconceivable. Processional and religious marches form an integral part of the musical programme for this day. Here we have compiled a list of current spiritual marches and festive music. Perhaps you will find one or the other work in the music archive of your Band.

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