Feast of Christ the King


Feast of Christ the King

:"This article describes the "Feast of Christ the King". For the title of Christ, see "Christ the King"."

The Feast of Christ the King (properly the Solemnity of Christ the King in the Roman Catholic Church) is a last holy Sunday in the western liturgical calendar, celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and by many Protestants.

Origin and History in the Roman Catholic Church

On 11 December 1925, towards the end of that Holy Year, Pope Pius XI instituted this liturgical celebration as a feast ranked as a Double of the First Class [See General Roman Calendar as in 1954] with his encyclical "Quas Primas". [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_11121925_quas-primas_en.html English translation of the encyclical "Quas Primas"] ]

The title of the feast was "D. N. Jesu Christi Regis" (Our Lord Jesus Christ the King), and the date was "the last Sunday of the month of October - the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints". [Encyclical "Quas Primas", 28]

In Pope John XXIII's 1960 revision of the Calendar, the date and title remained the same and, in the new simpler ranking of feasts, it was classified as a feast of the first class.

In 1969, Pope Paul VI gave the celebration a new title: "D. N. Iesu Christi universorum Regis" (Our Lord Jesus Christ King of All). He also gave it a new date: the last Sunday in the liturgical year, before a new year begins with the First Sunday in Advent, the earliest date for which is 27 November. Through this choice of date "the eschatological importance of this Sunday is made clearer". ["Calendarium Romanum" (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 63] He assigned to it the highest rank, that of "Solemnity". [ [http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_p-vi_motu-proprio_19690214_mysterii-paschalis_en.html motu proprio "Mysterii Paschalis"] ]

As happens with all Sundays whose liturgies are replaced by those of important feasts, [Examples are Pentecost and Trinity Sunday. Indeed before the reform of Pope Pius X most Sundays gave way to any feast that had the rank of Double, and these were the majority ( [http://books.google.com/books?vid=LCCN33036844&id=E7sPAAAAIAAJ&pg=PP34&lpg=PP34&dq=missale+romanum&as_brr=1#PPP3,M1 Missale Romanum, published by Pustet, 1862] )] the prayers of the Sunday on which the celebration of Christ the King falls are used on the ferias (weekdays) of the following week. The Sunday liturgy is thus not totally omitted.

Observance in other Churches

Those churches also that use the Revised Common Lectionary observe Christ the King Sunday (titled Reign of Christ Sunday by some) as the last Sunday of the liturgical year, in agreement with the 1969 Roman Catholic date revision. These churches include most major Anglican and mainline Protestant groups, including the Church of England and the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and other Lutheran bodies, the United Methodist Church and other Methodist bodies, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ, and the Moravian Church.

References

ee also

*Christ King
*Cristo Rey
*Stir-up Sunday


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