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Féte de Dieu

Altar erected for Fête-Dieu

Much like the Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, the Fête-Dieu (Corpus Christi or Celebration of God), was a time of Catholic pageantry and spectacle. The springtime celebration featured a procession during which the parish priest dressed in embroidered robes, and displayed the host in a sunburst-shaped monstrance to represent the transubstantiation. Residents often decorated their homes, and small altars, called reposoirs or repose altars, were erected at crossroads and decorated with flowers and garlands. As the procession made its way through the town towards the church, the priest stopped at the various altars along the route for prayers. The procession ended with mass at the church.

The Fête-Dieu procession has a long history in French-Canadian culture, and is just one of the cultural traditions which was retained until Vatican II by the parishioners of St. Vincent.

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