Corpus Christi festival of the Herrgottskanoniere


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

On the day of Corpus Christi and the evening before, cannoneers fire numerous cannon and gun salutes on Lucerne’s local mountain, the Gütsch, to celebrate the sacrament of the altar. Three historical artillery cannons are used to fire the salute, which is performed according to strict military rules. The salutes mark individual phases and elements of the ritual during the procession of believers through the old town. The cannoneers are Catholic soldiers, or former soldiers, of the Swiss army. For the purposes of performing the ritual, they are organised into what is known as the "Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern" (the Lucerne Brotherhood of Cannoneers of Our Lord). The brotherhood was founded around 1580 at the time of the Counter-Reformation, when the Corpus Christi processions were beginning to serve as profile-raising events for the Catholic Church.

Image gallery

  • The battery of three cannons on the Gütsch mountain shooting range. After 2000. © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • The cannoneers firing salutes during the Corpus Christi festival in 2007 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Flag delegation with 'Bielimanne' (artillery sappers) in 18th century uniforms, 2006 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Flag handover at the Kornmarkt on the evening before Corpus Christi, 2009 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Driving lessons in the Allmend region of Lucerne on the afternoon before Corpus Christi, 2005 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Corpus Christi salutes in 1895. Oil painting by Joseph Clemens Kaufmann © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • The battery of three cannons on the Gütsch mountain shooting range. After 2000. © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • The cannoneers firing salutes during the Corpus Christi festival in 2007 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Flag delegation with 'Bielimanne' (artillery sappers) in 18th century uniforms, 2006 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Flag handover at the Kornmarkt on the evening before Corpus Christi, 2009 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Driving lessons in the Allmend region of Lucerne on the afternoon before Corpus Christi, 2005 © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern
  • Corpus Christi salutes in 1895. Oil painting by Joseph Clemens Kaufmann © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern

Video

Cannoneers at the 425-year anniversary of the brotherhood, Corpus Christi 2005 (extracts) © Herbert Bitzi, Stansstad/Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern

References and documentation

Publications
  • Luzerner SS Corporis Christi-Bruderschaft (Ed.): 425 Jahre Bruderschaft der Herrgottskanoniere Luzern 1580-2005. Führer durch die Jubiläums-Ausstellung. Luzern, 2005

  • Stefan Schütz: Die Kanoniere wecken Luzern. In: Neue Luzerner Zeitung, 6. Juni 2007, p. 24

  • Markus Zimmermann: Die Herrgottskanoniere von Luzern 1580-1980. Luzern, 1980

Documentation