LitBit Feature – Christ the King
The feast of Christ the King. The feast of Christ the King (or the Reign of Christ) was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925, making it a comparatively recent addition to the liturgical calendar. The celebration was established in the context of growing European nationalisms and a dispute between Italy and the Roman church regarding the sovereignty of the Vatican. It was originally celebrated on the last Sunday of October (the Sunday prior to All Saints, November 1), but was moved in 1969 by Pope Paul VI to the end of “Ordinary”. This location, at the “end” of the liturgical calendar, highlights the eschatological or end-time orientation of the celebration. The lectionary readings on this day refer to the coming consummation of all things under Christ. The take-up by many protestant church of the new common lectionaries of the 1970s, ‘80s and 90’s saw the feast become a regular feature also in protestant worship cycles. The liturgical colour for the Reign of Christ is white or gold.