The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Year B / Sunday, June 6, 2021

This Sunday’s Readings: 

Exodus 24:3–8

Psalm 116:12–13, 15–16, 17–18 (13 or Alleluia)

Hebrews 9:11–15

Sequence (opt.): Lauda Sion

Mark 14:12–16, 22–26

WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME EXPLAINING THE EUCHARIST so that those who come to Communionunderstand what they are receiving. Sacramental law requires that one must have “sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity…” (Code of Canon Law 913 Åò3). 

Yet I wonder if today’s narrative of the Last Supper from Mark’s Gospel might invite us to refrain from explaining the sacrament so much and instead enter the mystery of salvation into which Christ invites us all to participate. Notice, Mark’s Gospel is slightly different from Matthew’s account of the supper (and in what is implied in Luke’s and Paul’s narratives). In Matthew, Jesus gives the meaning of the cup as the disciples drink from it. But in Mark’s version we hear today, Jesus has the disciples drink first before he explains its meaning.

Does this mean we shouldn’t provide sufficient catechesis on the Eucharist? Of course not. But it does remind us that the Eucharist is not a reward for passing a test. It is first and foremost a relationship with Christ, the meaning of which deepens with every encounter. The bread we break is a participation in that relationship. And the cup we share is how we make a return to the Lord for all the good God has done for us.

–Diana Macalintal

Suggested Music

GIA Hymnal Suggestions
WLP Resource Suggestions

Choral Suggestions:

Very Bread

Randolph Currie

G-8658 · SATB, reduction

Prepare a Room for Me

Words by Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr. / Arranged by Rob Glover

G-9805 · SATB, assembly, organ

O Sacrament Most Holy 

Michael Joncas

G-9699 · SATB, assembly, keyboard, guitar


“O sacrament most holy, O sacrament divine: the fruit of human labor, the gift of field and vine. One blessed break now broken, one holy cup of wine, the presence of our Savior in sacramental sign.”

In his notes for this piece, Michael Joncas discusses how he took the texts from the preparation of the gifts and fraction rite in the Liturgy of Eucharist and combined them with the text “O Sacrament most holy! O Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!” for this communion procession song. This melding of texts shows us that each of these parts of the Liturgy of the Eucharist is connected. Joncas cleverly employs the devotional hymn text “O Sacrament Most Holy” in this piece as a reminder that the devotional life of the Church first flows from the sacramental celebrations. In the preparation of the gifts, we bring forward the bread and wine that are representative of all that we have and all that we offer to God, the fruit of human labor. It is these elements that become the Body and Blood of Christ we receive in communion. As you come forward in the communion procession, remember that the gifts you have brought to the liturgy and to your community have been transformed and given back to you as food for your journey. Truly a sacrament most holy.

– Victoria Zibell

Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem

Arranged by Thomas Fielding

G-10113 · Unison, cantor, assembly, organ

All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly

Words by Sylvia Dunstan / Arranged by Kevin Keil

G-9806 · SAB, assembly, keyboard, guitar, C instrument

More choral suggestions for The Most Holy Body and Blood Sunday…


Ave Verum Corpus Richard Robert Rossi SATB • G-5718

Ave Verum  Gabriel Fauré, ed. Douglas J. Walcazk. 2-Part Choir Equal Voices, Organ • 009600

Do This in Remembrance of Me  Larry Visser SATB, Organ • G-8693

El Cáliz Que Bendecimos/Our Blessing Cup: Salmo 116(115)  Eleazar Cortés. ¡Aclama, Tierra Entera! / Sing All You Lands! bilingual songbook • 012637

I Am Yours (Consume Me Completely) Trevor Thomson. 2-Part Choir, Cantor, Assembly, Guitar, Keyboard • 008398

I Come with Joy  Normand Gouin SATB, Organ • G-9832

I’m Thankful for the Blood  Patrick D. Bradley. SATB, Cantor, Assembly, Keyboard • 001281

Lauda, Sion, Salvatorem  J. Michael Joncas SATB, Cantors, Assembly, Organ, opt. Brass Quintet and Timpani • G-7140

O Great, Sacred Feast of Life (O Sacrum Convivium) Edward Eicker. SATB, Keyboard • 009437

O Sacrum Convivium  Richard Farrant ed./trans. Alan J. Hommerding. SATB a cappella • 009049

Pan del Cielo/Bread of Heaven Eleazar Cortés, arr. J. Honoré & P. Kolar. Two-Part Choir, Cantor, Assembly, opt. Marimba, Guitar, Keyboard • 012643

The Bread of Life  Arr. Dorothy Frisch SATB, Piano • G-8395

The Bread of Life  Michael Mangan Children’s Choir or Three-Part Choir, Assembly, C Instrument, Guitar, Keyboard • 008883