Worshipers from across the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston took to the streets to kick off the three-year National Eucharistic Revival for the Catholic Church in the United States with regional Eucharistic processions over the weekend of June 18-19.
The weekend marked the solemnity of Corpus Christi, a day when Catholics celebrate and honor the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
The Eucharistic procession is a Catholic tradition that dates back to the 14th century. Priests carry the Blessed Sacrament in an ornate vessel called a monstrance or ostensorium, which is shaped like a cross. Catholic families and organizations follow the priest outside the church and in the streets as a sign of honor and glory for Christ in the Holy Eucharist – Communion.
There are six vicariates (regions) in the state: Wheeling, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Martinsburg, Charleston and Beckley. Each held a Eucharistic procession as a respectful act of unity to give gratitude and honor to God. The public was invited to participate in these respectful events.
Three regional events were planned for the Catholics of the Vicariate of Beckley. A procession followed the 6 p.m. Saturday Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Bluefield. On Sunday, processions followed the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Francis de Sales Parish, Beckley, and Sacred Heart Parish, Princeton.
The National Eucharistic Revival begins with this Diocesan Year across the country. The parish year will begin in June 2023 and culminate on July 17, 2024, at the National Eucharistic Congress from July 17-21, 2024, in Indianapolis, when Catholics of all ages will gather for a conference to send the faithful with a mission to serve and teach others about the Eucharist and Christ, which Catholics understand to be the life of the world.