November 26, 2017

The Feast of Our Lord Christ the King

Christ the King

November 26, 2017 

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, formerly referred to as "Christ the King," was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a solemn, striking and effective manner Christ's sovereign royalty and holy reign over individuals, families, causes, ideologies, society, governments, and nations.

It is no accident that this solemnity occurs immediately before the beginning of Advent. As Fr. Pius Parsch explains: "With an ever-growing desire, all Advent awaits the 'coming King'; in the chants of the breviary we find repeated again and again the two expressions 'King' and 'is coming.' On Christmas the Church would greet, not the Child of Bethlehem, but the Rex Pacificus — 'the King of peace gloriously reigning.' Within a fortnight, there follows a feast which belongs to the greatest of the feasts of the Church year -- the Epiphany. As in ancient times oriental monarchs visited their principalities (theophany), so the divine King appears in His city, the Church; from its sacred precincts He casts His glance over all the world....On the final feast of the Christmas cycle, the Presentation in the Temple, holy Church meets her royal Bridegroom with virginal love: 'Adorn your bridal chamber, O Sion, and receive Christ your King!' The burden of the Christmas cycle may be summed up in these words: Christ the King establishes His Kingdom of light upon earth!" (The Church's Year of Grace, Fr. Pius Parsch)

"The annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ... While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer... we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power..."

— Pope Pius XI
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Collect Prayer

Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, true King and Judge. Amen.

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