Over a lakh throng Shillong for Eucharistic procession
SHILLONG, Nov 13: The annual Eucharistic Procession of the Shillong Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, held on Sunday after a gap of two years due to COVID-19-related restrictions, has drawn a record number of the Catholic faithful not only of Meghalaya, but from other parts of the northern region, with some estimates putting it at more than a lakh.
What makes this year’s Eucharistic Procession memorable is the fact that this is the first procession presided by Archbishop Victor Lyngdoh, who was installed as the fourth Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Shillong in the year 2021 as successor of late Rt Rev Dominic Jala, who died in a road accident in 2019 whilst on a visit to the USA.
With regard to the Eucharistic procession, known in the Catholic Church worldwide as Corpus Christi, Latin for “the body of Christ,” it dates back to 1247, when it was first celebrated in Liege, Belgium. Two decades later, Pope Urban IV extended it to the Universal Church.
While in other parts of the world, the Corpus Christi procession is held in the month of June to coincide with the feast of Corpus Christi, in India on account of the month of June falling in the rainy monsoon season, the procession associated with this feast is held in the winter months after the withdrawal of the monsoons.
In his homily at the conclusion of the Eucharistic procession, Archbishop Victor Lyngdoh said the presence of Jesus Christ is not only in Heaven but with us too on this earth in the Holy Eucharist.
As the occasion also marked the end of the year-long celebrations, in the local church, of the Year of Gratitude, the Archbishop said, “Though the year-long celebrations have concluded, gratitude for countless blessings received should ceaselessly be celebrated.”