The Roman Catholic feast of Corpus Christi, which celebrates the real presence of the body of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, is traditionally marked in Trinidad and Tobago (and many other places around the world) with Mass followed by a procession. Trinidad and Tobago is, however, just one of 18 countries that still holds the feast day — annually on the second Thursday after Whitsun — as a national holiday.
While various Roman Catholic parishes across the country continue the procession tradition, the largest takes place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which sits at the eastern end of Independence Square in the heart of the capital city. This was the first year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that in-person celebrations were allowed to be conducted in this way, and there was a large turnout that included parishioners, primary and secondary school students and, as is customary, an honour guard formed by various troops of Trinidad Sea Scouts, Girl Guides and Cub Scouts.
Holy Mass, which was celebrated by Archbishop Jason Gordon, took place in the forecourt of the cathedral. After the service, the Blessed Sacrament was housed in the monstrance and transported through the streets of Port of Spain while the faithful sang, danced, and recited the rosary.
On the return to the cathedral, participants were gifted with seedlings, as Corpus Christi is also a traditional day of planting in Trinidad and Tobago. Not only does the day coincide with the start of the country's rainy season, but it is said that anything planted on this day will thrive.