Corpus Christi is the solemnity when we especially honor the sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. It is a special feast for us here at the monastery because we have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every day–we have a great devotion to this sacred mystery. In honor of this great feast we would like to remember the traditional hymns of Corpus Christi, which were written (the words, not the music) by our own Dominican brother, St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Thomas had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Urban IV asked him to compose the Office for what was, in the 13th century, the new feast of Corpus Christi, and the hymns are still sung today (often in shortened versions) by Catholics and Protestants alike. These hymns include the Sequence for the Mass (Lauda, Sion), and several other hymns: Pange, Lingua, Verbum Supernum, and Sacris Solemniis. Many of these hymns are best known for their concluding verses, which are often used at Benediction–like Tantum Ergo and O Salutaris Hostia. And most of us are probably familiar with Panis Angelicus! Today, consider taking a moment to thank God for His continued presence among us in the Blessed Sacrament. Truly the bread of angels has been given to us!