Saint Brigid Religious Education
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Holy Days

Christ The King ~ Between November 20 and 26

On December 11, 1925, towards the end of that Holy Year, Pope Pius XI instituted this liturgical celebration as a feast ranked as a Double of the First Class with his encyclical Quas Primas.

Christ the King is a title of Jesus based on several passages of Scripture and, in general, used by all Christians. Catholics celebrate, in honor of Christ under this title, the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, before a new year begins with the First Sunday of Advent. (the earliest date of which is November 27). The title "Christ the King" is also frequently used as a name for churches, schools, seminaries and hospitals.

The name is found in various forms in scripture: King Eternal (1 Timothy 1:17), King of Israel (John 1:49), King of the Jews (Mt. 27:11), 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).

In Pope John XXIII's 1960 revision of the Calendar, the date and title remained the same and, in the new simpler ranking of feasts, it was classified as a feast of the first class.

In 1969, Pope Paul VI gave the celebration a new title: "D. N. Iesu Christi universorum Regis" (Our Lord Jesus Christ King of All). As happens with all Sundays whose liturgies are replaced by those of important feasts, the prayers of the Sunday on which the celebration of Christ the King falls are used on the ferias (weekdays) of the following week. The Sunday liturgy is thus not totally omitted.

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."

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