The procession should be done respectfully because we are "processing with our Lord," O’Connor noted. Catholics should take it seriously, he said, because it's not just for entertainment, it's an act of worship of the Creator of the universe.
3. Have Mass or adoration first.
The procession should begin after a public Mass or a period of adoration, and the hosts for the procession should be consecrated at that Mass.
4. The procession can reflect the cultural and spiritual needs of your community.
While there are certain aspects of the procession that cannot change, fret not! The rubrics for a eucharistic procession do allow for significant flexibility in certain areas. For example, the rubrics do not state exactly how the faithful need to arrange themselves in the procession, so there’s some room to get creative — for example, children who have recently taken their First Communion could be encouraged to walk at the front of the faithful in order to be given a place of honor in the procession.
5. Make it evangelistic.
Part of the purpose of a eucharistic procession is to profess for the world a belief in Jesus’ presence in the sacrament. A community that undertakes a procession has made a decision to "publicly proclaim its belief in Jesus' True Presence in the Eucharist," and processions are a way of bringing Christ "out, to the world … literally walking into the world, with Jesus,” O’Connor said.
Parishioners should be encouraged to invite people to the procession beforehand, the video urges, whether or not they are Catholic. During the procession itself, participants should be prepared to talk to inquisitive passersby and to actively invite those who are interested to join the procession. The parish even could assemble a group of “street evangelists” to walk on the outer part of the procession and be ready to answer any questions about what is going on and its significance.
To help prepare parishioners to do this, priests could consider offering teachings about the Eucharist in the days or weeks before the procession. In the weeks leading up to the procession, homilies could focus on the Eucharist and inserts could be put in the bulletin to help people understand the Church’s teaching on the subject.
Above all, a eucharistic procession is about “bringing Christ to people,” literally, O’Connor said. He said he has seen people who were Catholic be drawn back to the Mass and the Eucharist as a result of encountering a procession, and he said he has even seen people who have no faith be moved by processions to consider Catholicism.
"Any parish or diocese that puts a greater emphasis on the Eucharist or eucharistic processions has only had positive results. Numbers go up, parishioners joining the parishes increase," he said.
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It profoundly impacts people when “we're very intentional about eucharistic processions, the beauty of the Mass,” and other aspects of the faith involving beauty, he said, noting that “people appreciate beauty and often encounter God through that.”
Beyond that, a procession serves as a special way to honor God.
"Every attempt should be made to do a procession the right way because our Lord deserves it … it's actually not enough, but we do our very very best," O’Connor said.