Christ the King

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Christ the King, a detail from the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck.

Christ the King is a title of Jesus based on several passages of Scripture. It is used by most Christians. The Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations, including Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Methodists, celebrate the Feast of Christ the King on the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent. The Feast of Christ the King is thus on the Sunday that falls between 20 and 26 November, inclusive. Originally, the liturgical calendar had this feast on the last Sunday of October prior to All Saints' Day, where it is still celebrated in the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and by The Anglican Catholic Church. The title "Christ the King" is also frequently used as a name for churches, schools, seminaries, hospitals and religious institutes.

Origins[edit]

The name is found in various forms in scripture: King (John 18:36-37), King eternal (1 Timothy 1:17), King of Israel (John 1:49, Mt. 27:42, Mark 15:32), King of the Jews by Romans and Magi (Mt. 2:2, Mt. 27:11, cf. John 18:33-37), King of kings (1 Tim 6:15; Rev. 19:16), King of the ages (Book of Revelation 15:3) and Ruler of the kings of the Earth (Rev. 1:5).[1]

Insigna of the Vendean insurgents who fought against suppression of the Church in the French Revolution. Note the French words 'Dieu Le Roi' beneath the heart-and-cross, meaning 'God (is) the king'.

Christ's kingship was addressed in the encyclical Quas Primas of Pope Pius XI, published in 1925, which has been called "possibly one of the most misunderstood and ignored encyclicals of all time."[2] The Pontiff's encyclical quotes with approval Cyril of Alexandria, noting that Jesus' kingship is not obtained by violence: "'Christ,' he says, 'has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature.'" Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Christ the King in 1925 to remind Christians that their allegiance was to their spiritual ruler in heaven as opposed to earthly supremacy.

Pope Benedict XVI has remarked that Christ's kingship is not based on "human power" but on loving and serving others. The perfect exemplar of that acceptance, he pointed out, is the Virgin Mary. Her humble and unconditional acceptance of God's will in her life, the Pope noted, was the reason that "God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth." [3]

Schools, churches, and Shrine[edit]

Many Catholic schools and churches have taken this name, as shown here: Cathedral of Christ the King, Lexington Kentucky


Other Christian churches' buildings also sometimes use this dedication, such as:

See also the disambiguation page for more institutions using the name.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]