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Corpus Christi in Canada

Many Christians in Canada, especially those of Roman Catholic faith, observe Corpus Christi in honor of the Holy Eucharist. It is also known as the Feast of the Most Holy Body of Christ, as well as the Day of Wreaths.

Is Corpus Christi a Public Holiday?

Corpus Christi is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Hands holding a Communion wafer
Communion wafers are usually offered at a church service during Corpus Christi.
©iStockphoto.com/MKucova

What Do People Do?

Corpus Christi is mainly celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church but it is included in a few Anglican churches in Canada. Some choirs perform music dedicated to Corpus Christi during this time of the year. Some schools, particularly Catholic schools, and Sunday schools run by churches may have lessons and learning activities that teach students about the history and meaning of Corpus Christi. Some churches have Corpus Christi processions and social gatherings after a church service.

Many Christians, particularly those who belong to the Catholic denomination, receive Communion on this day. Some people, particularly children, receive their first Communion during Corpus Christi. This practice, also known as the Eucharist, involves people accepting consecrated bread and wine (or grape juice), which according to Christian faith are Jesus Christ’s body and blood. Corpus Christi usually falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday although some churches may celebrate it on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.

Public Life

Corpus Christi is not a statutory public holiday in Canada.

Background

Corpus Christi is a festival that has been celebrated by many Christians, particularly the Catholic Church, in honor of the Eucharist since 1246. The name “Corpus Christi” is a Latin phrase that refers to the body of Christ. This event commemorates the Last Supper on the day before Jesus’ crucifixion, as described in the Bible. Corpus Christi is primarily celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church but it is also included in the calendar of some Anglican churches.

Symbols

Symbols that portray the event may include: an image of a host (consecrated bread) and chalice to depict the Holy Eucharist; an altar; and a ciborium, which is a chalice-like container used to store consecrated hosts of the sacrament of Eucharist, or the Holy Communion.

About Corpus Christi in other countries

Read more about Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010ThuJun 3Corpus ChristiChristian 
2011ThuJun 23Corpus ChristiChristian 
2012ThuJun 7Corpus ChristiChristian 
2013ThuMay 30Corpus ChristiChristian 
2014ThuJun 19Corpus ChristiChristian 
2015ThuJun 4Corpus ChristiChristian 
2016ThuMay 26Corpus ChristiChristian 
2017ThuJun 15Corpus ChristiChristian 
2018ThuMay 31Corpus ChristiChristian 
2019ThuJun 20Corpus ChristiChristian 
2020ThuJun 11Corpus ChristiChristian 

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