The Feast of Christ the King
On the 24th November (2019) we celebrate the feast of Christ the King, also called the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
This feast is celebrated as the titles suggests in honour of Jesus Christ as Lord over all creation.
It was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925.
However, in 1969 under Pope Paul VI this feast was moved to the last Sunday in Ordinary time preceding the first Sunday in Advent, the start of a new liturgical year.
So, before I go any further, perhaps I better explain what we mean when we say Ordinary time.
Each part of the Liturgical year or pattern of worship has in it, special seasons, or, is in Ordinary time.
When we say special season, we mean things like Lent, Easter, Advent, and Christmas, so when the Church isn’t celebrating one of these special times, it is in Ordinary time.
The English name “Ordinary” is intended to translate into the Latin term tempus per annum,literally translation to “time through the year”.
This in no way means that Ordinary time is nothing special, because Jesus preformed miracles throughout the whole year, it does mean that Ordinary time does take up more than half of the Churches year, it is “Tempus per annum”
Ordinary time as well as the special seasons are given a different colour to denote them, this means that the Alter and pulpit will have frontals in this colour as well as the vicar or priests’ robes will also reflect this.
Ordinary time is associated with the colour green, which is very appropriate because it is the most ordinary colour in our natural world.
Ordinary time does not need to be ordinary, and no way means we get a break from the Liturgical year, the opposite is true, it leads on to celebrate the mystery of Christ in all aspects, many important celebrations fall during Ordinary time, Trinity, Corpus Christi, All Saints, The Assumption of the BVM and Christ the King.
In addition, the Church continues to celebrate Saints days and major feasts when they fall on a Sunday, and this then trumps the regular Ordinary time Sunday lessons and liturgy (Readings).
Which now brings us around nicely to this feast?
This being the last Sunday in Ordinary time, means perhaps, we, take stock of our lives. Have we lost our way? Have we separated ourselves from God over the last year? Out of our thinking? Our living? Have we organised our life in such a way as if God does not exist?
This feast gives us the answer that Christ is the King, and from this point onwards, we look forward anew, to the new, to the birth of Christ, and perhaps also, to our own reawakening.