THE much loved Corpus Christi Procession will return to Waterford this year.
The procession, which will take place on Sunday, May 29th, is being revived after a lapse of decades.
Starting in Ballybricken at 3pm, the procession will travel along Mayor’s Walk, down Newgate Street, onto Michael Street, and into John Roberts Square where there will be Benediction.
In the event of rain, Benediction will be held in the Cathedral.
Bishop of Waterford & Lismore Most Rev Alphonsus Cullinan, who will carry the Blessed Sacrament in the procession, is encouraging everyone to participate.
“As we walk through the streets accompanying the Lord we will pray for all the people of the City, County, Diocese and beyond, asking God’s blessing on all – on families, the sick, those in any need, the lonely, the lost. We pray that God’s peace, protection and wisdom will help us all.”
City of Waterford Brass Band will provide music along with city choirs, while the Civil Defence will steward the procession.
“We thank the City Council and the Gardaí for their expert help and support. A very large turnout is expected. An open invitation is extended to all to come and join in this unique event,” said Bishop Cullinan.
In many different countries, processions will be held for the Feast Day of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi being Latin for the Body of Christ.)
Pope Francis will lead the procession in Rome.
In Ireland, the Corpus Christi procession has remained a huge event in some locations including Cork where thousands of people gather along the Grand Parade.
Bishop Cullinan said people are always respectful towards the procession and he believes there will be a wonderful atmosphere in Waterford.
Members of the Polish community will also participate in the Waterford event.
Organiser Maura Browne said there had been attempts to revive the Corpus Christ procession in Waterford for many years.
“We have lovely memories of the procession in Waterford – all of the big altars along the different street corners and all of the windows being decorated. This will be a great occasion for Waterford and will be very special for children as well as older people who will have many fond memories of the Corpus Christi procession in Waterford,” she said.
“We pray that the procession will bring blessings on Waterford. We encourage people in all of the parishes to come along and participate and spread the word about the procession, and we hope that all of the priests will attend the procession also. And don’t worry about the weather – bring an umbrella if it’s raining! The weather won’t stop us as we will go to the Cathedral if it’s raining.”
Organisers are encouraging First Holy Communion children to dress-up and participate in the procession.