THE CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING - DR. GIL HAAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Feast of Christ the King was instituted on October’s final Sunday by Pope Pius XI in 1925, but it has been celebrated in Catholic and Lutheran Churches on the last Sunday before Advent (today) since 1970. Although this feast is not on the Episcopal calendar (although it is unofficially celebrated in some Anglican churches), today’s Collect for the last Sunday after Pentecost (the same day as the Feast of Christ the King) is freely borrowed from the Collect for the Feast of Christ the King in the Roman Missal. The Catholic feast celebrates the all-embracing authority of Christ’s messianic kingship and sovereign rule over all of creation (it may help to whisper the words to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus as you continue reading). Despite its official omission by the Episcopal Church, note the parallelism between the Catholic feast’s intent and our Collect in today’s service which prays that God, “whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” will “mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule.”
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
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