For the fifth year running, believers of all ages, nationalities, and tongues gathered in Sint-Kwinten’s church on the Thursday following the the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity (this year, June 20) to celebrate the Eucharist. There is nothing particularly remarkable about that, of course, because that happens, although in fewer numbers, regularly on a weekday in one church or another.
But it was not a day like any other, because on that Thursday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, better known as the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.
So also this year many people gathered together with Dean Dirk De Gendt and other priests to celebrate this special feast.
In his homily the dean said: “We are going to leave the safe walls of the church and take to the streets. What awaits us there? Perhaps mockery or indifference. That could well be so, but in this way we will experience a little bit of what Jesus experienced during His Way of the Cross to Calvary.”
The weather was magnificent, the bells were ringing, and the scent of incense spread through the Naamsestraat as the procession departed for Sint-Pieter’s Church.
Many of the children the Polish community who recently had made their First Communion scattered flower petals, while songs were sung by all the participants.
In Sint-Pieter’s church, the faithfulwere received, as always,with hospitality and were able to spend some time with the Lord in prayer.
After that the procession continued through the Grote Markt back to Sint-Kwinten’s church.
A chance passerby, Kolet Janssen, described the event on the Kerknet website. Some quotes:
“A traffic jam on the Naamsestraat. Not altogether unusual, but you always look with some curiosity at the cause of the congestion. And then you see a group of people dressed in white vestments in the front, followed by a canopy and even more people, praying and singing.”“It’s bold what they do, showing the world what they believe in.”
“But these people find each other here. They are from Belgium and from countries all over the world. Such a tradition can be a great way to experience unity.”“It is wonderful that we live in a country where such a thing is possible.”“Where people can express their faith on foot and stop the traffic once a year.”“Such things do not always have to be kept indoors. It’s very nice that we all can see what other people celebrate. That’s real life.”
Thanks to all those who, in one way or another,helped to make this solemnity a real feast both inside and outside the church walls and to bear witness that Jesus Christ is the Lord.