Heavenly Bodies

Why does Don Emanuele Rosi look so solemn as he passes by the rondine gallery on its opening day so beautifully described in Debra’s recent blog? It’s because he’s celebrating the mystery of transubstantiation, or the Eucharist.

I’m no theologian but I do know that this word, mentioned in Tom Lehrer’s song, the Vatican rag, has divided Christian religions for years to the point of blood-letting.

What it boils down to is this: is the host which is being carried in a religious vessel called a monstrance (from Latin “to display”) a symbol of Christ’s body or has the wafer actually changed into it?

It’s pretty clear what those who followed that procession thought about the subject.

There have also been  instances where devotees have seen blood pour from the raised host. The famous miracle of Bolsena is one of them.

On a more feminist note the festival which actually goes under both names of corpus Domini and corpus Christi was thought up by saint Juliana who thought that too much was going on in holy week and that a separate day should be instituted for this most solemn of all Catholic (and some protestant) festivals.

It’s celebrated on the Thursday following trinity Sunday which extols another mystery, that of the three in one, one in three type of godhead which is so characteristic of other faiths, like Hinduism for example.

Which reminds me that I’m now at a family birthday which might seem to taking place somewhere on the Deccan plains but is actually in Wembley, London where besides building an Olympian stadium they have also built an amazing hindu temple.


2 thoughts on “Heavenly Bodies

  1. We should pop into this wonderful Hindu Temple for a touch of religious fervour and upliftment I believe that all places of worship are worthy of our attention after all there is only one God and Jesus has many names! I think that it is a privilege for the UK to have and treasure all this diversity of places of worship it is a pity though that so many of it own temples of worship are no more or have changed their use at least most churches have retained their status in Italy and continue to thrive albeit diminishing worshipers and priests to guide us and I believe that it is this loss that is creating a sadder world. If you follow the Church calendar you feel the Seasons more and consequently you become more in touch with Nature and maybe are brought back to your roots more to the land to the earth wind air water fire ether as someone I saw hard at work on their allotment patch today stated without water or sun no yield of crops true but we have no control except that we can simulate heat in greenhouses and water by condensation but the most important ingredient to the equation are bees even that can be achieved manually but only in small quantities we are a lost race without our bees and must strive to save them at all cost else it will be extinction I would imagine of human life as we know it as it will be hard to survive without food

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