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Celebrating Corpus Christi – Boże Ciało in Poland Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Culture, Religion

Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało) is a Catholic holiday celebrated as a public holiday in Poland. It is the day when the Catholic Church commemorates the practice of Holy Eucharist, or Communion.

Boże Ciało  always falls 60 days after Easter, so it is a moveable feast. It is a festival that celebrates transubstantiation, the Catholic belief that the wafer and (sometimes) wine received at holy communion literally become the body and blood of Christ.

The festival in Poland is marked with processions through the streets of cities, towns and villages, usually beginning at midday. The parish priest will often walk beneath a canopy, and others taking part may scatter rose petals as they walk.

It is not uncommon to see the private homes decorated with flowers or icons for the occasion, and there may be shrines along the route of the parade.

Boże Ciało began to be celebrated at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries. It is thought to have resulted from the work of a nun called Juliana of Liege, who, it is said, had a vision of a ‘dark spot’ in the church. This was interpreted as an indicator that the Church needed a festival dedicated solely to the celebration of the eucharist.

Procesja_Bozego_Ciala_4249849-2

Boże Ciało

Ulicami, alejami naszych miast

i strojnymi ścieżynami polskich wsi

idzie dzisiaj i porywa z sobą nas

i zaprasza ,byśmy za Nim zawsze szli.

Streets, alleys of our cities

and through beautiful little streets of Polish village

He goes today and takes each of us

and invites us to follow him always.

Wśród chorągwi, baldachimów, płatków róż,

pośród barwnych wstęg, koronek w blasku dnia

idzie Ten, w którego wierzysz – to sam Bóg

zstąpił z nieba, by zobaczyć ,jak się masz.

Among the banners, canopies, rose petals,

among the colorful ribbons, lace in the light of day

He walks, he in Who you believe – the God himself

came down from heaven to see, how are you.

Jest obecny w białej Hostii, po to, by

wzrokiem wiary człowiek patrzył w Jego Twarz.

I obiecał, że po wszystkie nasze dni –

aż do końca świata – będzie pośród nas.

He is present in the white Host, in order to

eye of faith man look in his face.

He promised that after all our days –

until the end of the world – He will be among us.

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.