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Ordinary Time

Christ the King 2

All Years

This may come as a  surprise, but your church does not need to celebrate this day in any  particular way. Christ the King is not mentioned in the Episcopal Church  Calendar. The Feast is unofficially celebrated in many Episcopal  parishes, but, if you wish, proceed as if Proper 29 were simply the last  Sunday of the Church Year.

The Feast of Christ the  King was originally instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in response to  the tragedy of World War I and the growth of secularism in the world. If  the idea of praising Jesus’ reign in terms of monarchy doesn’t sit with  your deeply held views of either Jesus or democracy, you may use other  liturgical materials for the day.

However, Rev. Marion  Hatchett, one of the primary liturgists of the 1979 Episcopal Prayer  Book, notes that the Prayer Book collect for Proper 29, is a “somewhat  free” translation of the collect of the Feast of Christ the King  celebrated in the Catholic Church. This collect 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” (BCP, p. 236).

So, Christ the King can  celebrate Christ's messianic kingship and sovereign rule over all  creation. And perhaps in the face of our chaotic, divided world, that  often seems ruled by the forces of darkness, Christ the King Sunday can  remind us that in the end, God does reign over all things. Christ the  King Sunday says our task is not only to trust in this truth, but to  live the kind of lives through which the Holy Spirit can work to bring  the full reign of Christ to fruition in all creation.

The material provided  below via the links can be adapted to your congregation’s needs.  Additional intercessions for prayer cycles and local concerns may be  added, using the cue for the response “let us pray to the Lord: Let your kingdom come.”

Most of the material comes  from the Church of England, and they know a few things about crowns.  May this day of unofficial observance bring you joy and a sense of hope  as we come to the end of Ordinary Time of our Church Year.

Christ the King Holy Communion
Download DOCX • 29KB

Christ the King Word and Prayer
Download DOCX • 27KB

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