Monday, November 23, 2009

View from the Pew - Feast of Christ The King

Origin of the Feast

The feast of Christ The King is the end of Ordinary Time, and immediately precedes Advent. Pope Pius XI instituted this feast in 1925 in response to a number of the 'isms' of the day, secularism, nationalism, colonialism, totalitarianism. It is so important a feast that it is elevated to a Solemnity.

In the day, not unlike today, the people needed a king, reminding us of Old Testament times, when the people turned to God and asked for a king. In that time, the people wanted a human king, and the Lord gave them their wish. However, in 1925, the Pope in his wisdom proclaimed for all who might think otherwise that we have a King, and Jesus is His Name.

We do not need a king to lord it over us, but a king, like us in all but sin, to free us from our sin, and lead us to heaven.

In celebration of Christ's Kingship, yesterday, we had wonderful reminders of what happens when we make Him, King of our lives. We had the young children sent off early in the Mass by our new Deacon, to meet with their teachers as they prepare for the celebration of their First Reconciliation. Later, after the readings, catechumens who are studying to be accepted into the Church at Easter time, were sent with their teachers to prepare. Finally, all those young people who are preparing for the last Sacrament of their Initiation into the Church, the Sacrament of Confirmation were invited down to be blessed by our Associate Pastor, and to make some promises about their faith lives. All in all it was pretty cool, to see the life of the Church in Jesus Christ.

Here are two of the hymns that we sang yesterday. First, at communion was Blest Are They, a David Haas hymn. In this rendition is a beautiful story of the beatitudes.

We closed the celebration with Lift High The Cross. Here is a version sung by Trinity Episcopal Church in Fredonia NY.

1 comment:

Joshua S. said...

I simply loved THE BEATITUDES. What a handy wrap-up of Jesus' important lesson - simple and to the point. Easy enough for a child to understand.

Have you ever noticed that your "conscience" speaks to you in very simple language? I've often wondered whether "conscience" is the secular term for "state of grace". And I've always thought of one's "state of grace" as a vibrant, living and active "account", if you will, of one's "balance of grace". Kinda like dollars, but INFINITELY more valuable (I simply couldn't resist that one!)

Maybe I'm bringing it down to simple allegory because I've spent such a large chunk of my life raising my kids to lead their lives by following God's Path. I worked so hard to get my kids to understand and appreciate it all by keeping the theology short and simple.

THE BEATITUDES may have been targetted at young learners, but it's a handy reference for all God's Children.