A blessed Feast of Christ the King

by Gerardus Maiella

We unhappily did not have anything prepared especially for today’s feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (If we can wangle it, we might be able to present something for you later in the week.) Yet given our interest in the question of Church/State relations, and given the reason that Pius XI gave us this great feast, it is only right that we, at the very least, exhort our readers to read through his luculent 1925 encyclical Quas primas, and drink deeply of the wisdom contained therein regarding the place that Our Lord must by right hold within the hearts of individuals and within public society itself. The English text is here at the Vatican website, and the Latin (which version we always encourage if the reader is able) is here. (Or, if you, like us, prefer the relatively calming surety of a scanned book to the dangers which inevitably come with an OCR job, the Latin may also be found in this 1926 volume of La Civiltà Cattolica, p. 97ff.)

We also recommend giving a read to Professor Kwasniewski’s 2014 article at Rorate Cæli on the difference between the traditional feast of Christ the King and the new feast post-Consilium. It gives a good account of this variation, and hints at the causes behind the reform of this feast.

The Collect and Postcommunion for today’s Mass:

Almighty and eternal God, Who willed to restore all things in Your beloved Son, the King of the Universe, graciously grant that the peoples of the earth torn asunder by the wound of sin, may submit to His most gentle rule. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

We have received the food of eternal life, and we beseech You, O Lord, that we who are proud to serve under the flag of Christ the King may forever reign with Him in the Kingdom of heaven. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

The hymn at Vespers for today’s feast, according to the traditional Breviarium Romanum:

Te sæculórum Príncipem,
Te, Christe, Regem Géntium,
Te méntium, te córdium
Unum fatémur árbitrum.

Scelésta turba clámitat:
Regnáre Christum nólumus:
Te nos ovántes ómnium
Regem suprémum dícimus.

O Christe, Princeps Pácifer,
Mentes rebélles súbiice:
Tuóque amóre dévios,
Ovíle in unum cóngrega.

Ad hoc cruénta ab árbore
Pendes apértis bráchiis,
Diráque fossum cúspide
Cor igne flagrans éxhibes.

Ad hoc in aris ábderis
Vini dapísque imágine,
Fundens salútem fíliis
Transverberáto péctore.

Te natiónum Praesides
Honóre tollant público,
Colant magístri, iúdices,
Leges et artes éxprimant.

Submíssa regum fúlgeant
Tibi dicáta insígnia:
Mitíque sceptro pátriam
Domósque subde cívium.

Iesu tibi sit glória,
Qui sceptra mundi témperas,
Cum Patre, et almo Spíritu,
In sempitérna saecula.