The Octave of Corpus Christi being privileged, Feasts are either commemorated only (in which case the appropriate Collect is said after that of the Office) or transferred to after the Octave.
The Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ), also known as Corpus Domini, is a Latin Rite liturgical solemnity celebrating the tradition and belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ and his Real Presence in the Eucharist. It emphasizes the joy of the institution of the Eucharist, which was observed on Holy Thursday in the sombre atmosphere of the nearness of Good Friday.
Saints John and Paul were Roman soldiers who were Christians as well. They were martyred at Rome on 26 June. The year of their martyrdom is uncertain according to their Acts, it occurred under Julian the Apostate (361-3).
In the second half of the fourth century, Byzantius, the Roman senator, and Pammachius, his son, fashioned their house on the Cælian Hill into a Christian basilica.
In the fifth century the presbyteri tituli Byzantii (priests of the church of Byzantius) are mentioned in an inscription and among the signatures of the Roman Council of 499. The church was also called the titulus Pammachii after Byzantius’s son, the pious friend of St. Jerome. In the ancient apartments on the ground-floor of the house of Byzantius, which were still retained under the basilica, the tomb of two Roman martyrs, John and Paul, was the object of veneration as early as the fifth century.
The Sacramentarium Leonianum already indicates in the preface to the feast of the saints, that they rested within the city walls (“Sacr. Leon.”, ed. Feltoe, Cambridge, 1896, 34), while, in one of the early itineraries to the tombs of the Roman martyrs, their grave is assigned to the church on the Cælian (De rossi, “Roma sotterrania”, I, 138, 175). The titulus Byzantii or Pammachii was consequently known at a very early date by the names of the two martyrs (titulus SS. Joannis et Pauli).
That the two saints are martyrs of the Roman Church, is historically certain; as to how and when their bodies found a resting-place in the house of Pammachius under the basilica, we only know that it certainly occurred in the fourth century. The year and circumstances of their martyrdom are likewise unknown. According to their Acts, which are of a purely legendary character and without historical foundation, the martyrs were eunuchs of Constantina, daughter of Constantine the Great, and became acquainted with a certain Gallicanus, who built a church in Ostia.
At the command of Julian the Apostate, they were beheaded secretly by Terentianus in their house on the Cælian, where their church was subsequently erected, and where they themselves were buried. The rooms on the ground-floor of the above-mentioned house of Pammachius were rediscovered under the Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Rome. They are decorated with important and interesting frescoes, while the original tomb (confessio) of Sts. John and Paul is covered with paintings of which the martyrs are the subject. The rooms and the tomb form one of the most important early Christian memorials in Rome. Since the erection of the basilica, the two saints have been greatly venerated, and their names have been inserted in the Canon of the Mass. Their feast is kept on this day.
INTROIT Psalm 80: 17
He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia; and filled them with honey, out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (Ps. 80: 2) Rejoice in God, our Helper sing aloud to the God of Jacob. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat He fed them……
O God, Who in a wonderful Sacrament hast left unto us the memorial of Thy Passion; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood as to experience continually within ourselves the fruit of Thy Redemption. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of SS John & Paul
We beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the double joy of this day’s festival, which proceedeth from the glory of blesssed John and Paul, kindred through the one faith and the one martyrdom, may take possession of us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
Commemoration of Nat. SJB
O God, Who hast made this day honorable to us on account of the birth of blessed John, grant Thy people the grace of spiritual joys, and direct the minds of all the faithful in the way of everlasting salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
LESSON 1 Corinthians 11: 23-29
Lesson from the First Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Brethren, I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered to you that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye and eat, this is My Body which shall be delivered for you; this do for the commemoration of Me. In like manner also the chalice, after He had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in My Blood; this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of Me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink this chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until He come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink of the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and the Blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself; and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord.
GRADUAL/ ALLELUIA Psalm 144: 15, 16
The eyes of all hope in Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them meat in due season. V. Thou openest Thy hand, and fillest living every creature with Thy blessing. Alleluia, alleluia. V. (John 6: 56) My Flesh is meat indeed and My Blood is drink indeed: he that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. Alleluia.
SEQUENCE “Lauda Sion” (At the celebrant’s discretion)
Sion, lift up thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King,
Praise with hymns thy shepherd true.
All thou canst, do thou endeavor,
Yet thy praise can equal never
Such as merits thy great King.
See today before us laid
The living and life-giving Bread!
Theme for praise and joy profound!
The same which at the sacred board
Was, by our incarnate Lord,
Giv’n to His Apostles round.
Let the praise be loud and high:
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt today in every breast.
On this festival divine
Which records the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.
On this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite.
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead;
Here, instead of darkness, light.
His own act, at supper seated,
Christ ordain’d to be repeated,
In His memory divine;
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We, the Host of our salvation,
Consecrate from bread and wine.
Hear, what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending
Leaps to things not understood,
Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden
Signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh, from bread, and Blood from wine,
Yet is Christ in either sign,
All entire, confessed to be.
They, who of Him here partake,
Sever not, nor rend, nor break:
But, entire, their Lord receive
Whether one or thousands eat,
All receive the self-same meat,
Nor the less for others leave,
Both the wicked and the good
eat of this celestial Food;
But with ends how opposite!
Here ‘t is life:
and there ‘t is death:
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite.
Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains
What was in the whole before;
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form
The signified remaining one
And the same for evermore.
Lo! upon the altar lies,
Hidden deep from human eyes,
Bread of Angels from the skies,
Made the food of mortal man;
Children’s meat to dogs denied,
In old types presignified:
In the manna Heaven-supplied
In Isaac, and the Paschal lamb.
Jesu! Shepherd of the sheep!
Thou Thy flock in safety keep,
Living Bread! Thy life supply:
Strengthen us, or else we die:
Fill us with celestial grace!
Thou, who feedest us below!
Source of all we have or know!
Grant that with Thy Saints above,
Sitting at the feast of love,
We may see Thee face to face.
GOSPEL St. John 6: 56-59
At that time, Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews: “My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, the same shall also live by Me. This is the Bread that came down from Heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live forever.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Leviticus 21: 6
The priests of the Lord offer incense and loaves to God, and therefore they shall be holy to their God, and shall not defile His Name. Alleluia.
Graciously bestow on Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts of unity and peace, which are mystically shown forth in the gifts now offered. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of SS John & Paul
O Lord, graciously accept the gifts we offer You in honor of Your blessed martyrs, John and Paul, and help us to find in them unending assistance. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
Commemoration Nat. SJB
We heap Thine altars with gifts, O Lord, celebrating with fitting honor the nativity of him who heralded the coming of the Saviour, and pointed Him out when He had come,Our Lord Jesus Christ, and reignest, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
PREFACE of the Incarnation
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangesl, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON 1 Corinthians 11: 26, 27
As often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall show forth the death of the Lord, until He come: therefore whosoever shall eat this Bread or drink the Chalice of the Lord unworthily shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Alleluia
Make us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to be filled with the eternal enjoyment of Thy Divinity, which is prefigured by the reception in this life of Thy precious Body and Blood. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of SS John & Paul
We have received Your Sacrament of Heaven, O Lord, to commemorate Your holy martyrs John and Paul. May this Sacred Rite which we celebrate now on earth bring us happiness in eternity. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, For ever and ever.
Commemoration of Nat. SJB
May Thy Church, O God, be joyful at the birth of blessed John the Baptist, through whom she knew the Author of her regeneration, our Lord Jesus Christ,Thy Son. Who with Thee livest and reignest, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.