It was no new truth, no new cult even, that Pope Pius XI announced, when in His Encyclical of December 11, 1925, he introduced into the sacred liturgy of the Church the special festival of Christ the King. The beautiful truth of the Kingship of Christ runs like a thread of royal purple throughout the prayers of the Christian ages. It may be said to have been an intimate part of the Old Testament liturgy and worship, especially in the Psalms and the Prophecies. With the coming of the fullness of time, all these predictions passed into realization. Christ affirmed before the world His Kingdom and Kingship. The three Holy Kings announced it at His Birth. In person He declared it to Pilate. As a King He pictured Himself to the Jews when He foretold His judgment of the world. As a King the Apocalyse presents Hm to us. And as a King He will finally surrender Himself and His Kingdom to the Father.
It is an article of our holy Faith that Christ, as man, has fullest spiritual power, leading to salvation, establishing the Church and Her Sacraments, and disposing of all graces in the supernatural order. In virtue of the union of His human nature with the Divine, He possesses still greater power, which is the foundation of this Feast. His is the full triple power of royalty: He is supreme Lawgiver under God, and His legislation all are bound to obey; He is ultimate Judge over mankind; He is the sovereign Executive whose command everyone must heed and whose sentence no one can escape. The sphere of His Kingly dominion embraces in their entirety both the temporal and spiritual realms.
Devotion to Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, offers to all Christians a new social outlook upon the world. We, as individuals, must strive to be subject to Christ most perfectly, in mind, will, and heart, because we are purchased at the price of His own precious Blood. This service should be expressed no less in our domestic relations, so that Christ may be King of the home. Christ is also King of all human society as well as King of nations. The remedy of all our evils is once more to bring society back to the gentle rule of Christ, whose yoke is sweet and whose burden of sovereignty is light. For this reason, the whole Church has instituted the great Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.
The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David, His Father; and He shall be King in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1. 32)
Jesus Christ, the King of kings, come, let us adore! (Roman Breviary) Glory be to the Father…
Christ’s Kingship in Prophecy
I am appointed King over Sion, His holy mountain; preaching His commandment. The Lord hath said to me: “Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession. (Ps. 2:6f) Glory be to the Father…
The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool.” (Ps. 109:1)
And thou, Bethlehem Ephrata, art a little one among the thousands of Juda, and out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be the ruler in Israel: And He shall be Peace: and His going is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. (Mich. 4) Glory be to the Father…
A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government is upon His shoulders, and His name shall be: Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, Father of the world to come, Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied and there shall be no end of peace; He shall sit upon the throne of David, and over his Kingdom (Isa. 9:6f). Glory be to the Father…
He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. And all the kings of the earth shall adore Him; all nations shall serve Him. In him shall all peoples of the earth be blessed, all nations shall praise Him. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all nations shall serve and obey Him. (Ps. 51) Glory be to the Father…
His power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and His kingdom that shall not be destroyed. (Dan. 7:14) Our Father…
Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord who is strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory. (Ps. 23)
Let us Pray:
Having partaken of the Food of Immortality, grant unto us, O Lord, that we who glory in battling under the standard of Christ the King, may also be able to reign with Him forever in our heavenly home, who liveth and reigneth forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.
Christ, the King on Earth
The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. (John 3:35)
All things have been delivered to Me by My Father. (Matt. 11:27)
Pilate, therefore, again entered into the Praetorium, and he summoned Jesus, and said to Him, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Dost thou say this of thyself, or have others told thee of Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Thy own people and the chief priests have delivered Thee to me. What hast Thou done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My followers would have fought that I might not be delivered to the Jews. but, as it is, My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate, therefore, said to Him, “Thou art then a king?” Jesus answered, “Thou sayest it; I am a King. this is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:33-38). Our Father…
Hymn–Vexilla Christus Inclyta
His glorious banners on the air triumphantly unfurled,
To Christ, the King of kings, give praise, ye nations of the world.
No kingdoms fall beneath His sword in bloody conquests grim,
But lifted on the Rood He draws all things by love to Him.
Thrice happy city, basking fair beneath His royal sway,
Where, at the mandates from His Throne, all hearts with joy obey!
No godless conflicts there will rage, but Peace, outstretch her hand,
With smiling Concord at her side–firm shall that city stand!
Where wedded Love will keep its troth, and youth can blossom fair,
And all the household virtues pure will grace the threshold there.
Then may Thy reign in splendour come, O King, most true and sweet!
Till all the earth, by love subdued, shall worship at Thy feet.
To Thee be glory, Jesus, King! O’er crowns and scepters high,
With Father and with Holy Ghost, while endless ages fly.
He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us unto the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins.” (Col. 1:13)
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that at all times and in all places we give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Almighty Father, Eternal God; Who with the oil of exultation didst anoint Thy Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Priest forever and King of all things, so that, in offering Himself as an immaculate Victim on the altar of the Cross, He might complete the mysteries of human redemption, and that with all creatures entirely made subject to His dominion, He might deliver to Thy Majesty an eternal and universal Kingdom: a Kingdom of truth and life; a Kingdom of holiness and grace; a Kingdom of justice, love and peace. And therefore, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the array of the heavenly host, we sing a hymn to Thy glory and unceasingly repeat: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. (Preface of Christ the King)
Christ, the King in Heaven
Worthy art Thou to take the scroll and to open its seals; for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us for God with Thy Blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made them for our God a kingdom and priests, and they shall reign over the earth.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and blessing.
To Him who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb, blessing and honour and glory and dominion, forever and ever. (Apoc. 5:9f) Our Father…
Hymn–Te Saeculorum Principem
Ruler of all, from Heaven’s high throne, O Christ, our King ere time began,
We kneel before Thee, O Lord, to own Thy empire o’er the heart of man.
While bands of shameless men recall the homage due to Christ their Lord,
We own Thee sovereign Lord of all, the King by heaven and earth adored.
O Prince of Peace, O Christ, subdue those rebel hearts, Thy peace restore;
Into Thy sheepfold lead anew Thy scattered sheep, to stray no more.
For this upon the tree of shame Thy Body hung, with arms spread wide,
The spear revealed the Heart of flame that burned within Thy Sacred Side.
For this our altars here are spread with mystic feast of Bread and Wine;
Still Thy redeeming Blood is shed from that sore-stricken Heart of Thine.
May the heads of nations fear Thy name and spread Thy honour through their lands,
Our nations’ laws, our arts proclaim the beauty of Thy just commands.
Let kings the crown and sceptre hold as pledge of Thy supremacy;
And Thou all lands, all tribes enfold in one fair realm of charity.
Jesus, to Thee be honour done, Who rulest all in equity.
With Father, Spirit, ever one, from age to age eternally.
“He is the image of God, the firstborn of every creature. For in Him were created all things in the heavens and on earth, things visible and things invisible, whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers. All things have been created through and unto Him, and He is before all creatures, and in Him all things hold together. Again, He is the Head of His Body, the Church; He Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the first place. For it has pleased God the Father that in Him all His fullness should dwell and that through Him He should reconcile to Himself all things, whether on the earth or in the heavens, making peace through the Blood of His Cross.” (Col. 1:15-20).
V. All power has been given to Me;
R. In Heaven and on earth.
Let us Pray:
Almighty, everlasting God, who didst wish to re-establish all things in Thy beloved son, King of all the world, graciously grant that all the nations of the earth, separated by the wound which sin inflicted, may be made subject to his sweet rule; Who liveth and reigneth forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.