Friday, June 17, 2011



June 26 is the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body (and Blood) of Christ. 

Corpus = Body (in Latin)
Christi = of Christ

The Catholic custom is to take the Blessed Sacrament around the parish in solemn procession.  At certain points during the lukao (procession), the priest and people stop at temporary altars for prayer.  In the Marianas, these altars are called låncho

Låncho means "ranch."  But I think the reason the altars are so-called is because the people erected shelters or canopies, sometimes quite elaborate, that reminded them of the huts they had on the ranch, although on a smaller scale.  Or, perhaps, because the old custom was to decorate the shelters with abundant produce from the ranch : fruits, vegetables, flora.

The first picture above shows that Spanish influence was still present as late as 1950, as the sign says, in Spanish, "Viva Jesus Sacramentado," meaning,  "Long Live Jesus in the Sacrament."

Most parishes have three låncho.  In the past, they were usually at private residences, the family being committed every year to erecting the låncho.  Recently, some parishes have some or all låncho on parish grounds.


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