MASS THIS SUNDAY (October 25, 2020)

Feast of Christ the King

Proper Prayers and Readingsonline here, leaflet here

                 (Angelus 1472, Baronius 1551, Campion 505)

Order of Mass:   Angelus 838, Baronius 900, Campion 569

Ordinary:  Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei

Preface of Christ the King (Angelus 875, Baronius 882, Campion 689)

Anthem to the Virgin Mary:  Salve Regina – from Trinity Sunday until Advent

            (Campion Missal 961, Angelus Missal 116, Baronius Missal 121, online here)

8 am, St. Mary Church, Athens

11:30 am, Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul, Chattanooga

12 noon, Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville

2 pm, St. Mary Church, Johnson City


MASS NEXT SUNDAY (November 1, 2020)

Feast of All Saints

8 am, St. Mary Church, Athens

11:30 am, Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul, Chattanooga

12 noon, Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville

2 pm, St. Mary Church, Johnson City



This great solemnity of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ is observed in the extraordinary form each year on the last Sunday of October, whereas it is the last Sunday before Advent on the calendar for the ordinary form of the Mass.


Holy Ghost Church reredos – Christ the King flanked by the four Evangelists


Holy Ghost Church's beautiful and distinctive Christ the King reredos—dating from the construction of the present church (dedicated in 1926)—was quite possibly the first such reredos erected in any U.S. Catholic church following Pope Pius XI's 1925 promulgation of this feast, and this adds local significance to our celebration here of the Feast of Christ the King.



       (Angelus 1472, Baronius 1551, Campion 505)

Perhaps especially pertinent in this time of chaos and crisis, when so many deny the sovereignty of Our Lord over earthly human affairs.



Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui in dilécto Fílio tuo, universórum Rege, ómnia instauráre voluísti: concéde propítius; ut cunctæ famíliæ géntium, peccáti vúlnere disgregátæ, eius suavissímo subdántur império.

Almighty, everlasting God, who hast willed to restore all things in thy beloved Son, the King of the universe, mercifully grant that all the nations of mankind who are torn asunder by the wounds of sin may submit to his most sweet rule.


Epistle    Colossians 1: 12-20



Dominábitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flúmine usque ad términos orbis terrárum.
Et adorábunt eum omnes reges terræ: omnes gentes sérvient ei.

He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. All kings shall pay Him homage, all nations shall serve Him


Gospel    John 18: 33-37



Póstula a me, et dabo tibi gentes hereditátem tuam, et possessiónem tuam términos terræ.

Ask of Me and I will give You the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for Your possession.




Hóstiam tibi, Dómine, humánæ reconciliatiónis offérimus: præsta, quǽsumus; ut, quem sacrifíciis præséntibus immolámus, ipse cunctis géntibus unitátis et pacis dona concédat, Iesus Christus Fílius tuus, Dóminus noster.

O Lord, we offer You this sacrificial Victim of mankind's reconciliation with You; grant, we beseech You, that our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Whom we offer in this sacrifice, may bestow upon all peoples the gifts of unity and peace.



….. Qui unigénitum Fílium tuum, Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Sacerdótem ætérnum et universórum Regem, óleo exsultatiónis unxísti: ut, seípsum in ara crucis hóstiam immaculátam et pacíficam ófferens, redemptiónis humánæ sacraménta perágeret: et suo subiéctis império ómnibus creatúris, ætérnum et universále regnum, imménsæ tuæ tráderet Maiestáti. Regnum veritátis et vitæ: regnum sanctitátis et grátiæ: regnum iustítiæ, amóris et pacis., Iesus Christus Fílius tuus, Dóminus noster. …..

….. Who didst anoint, with the oil of gladness, Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the eternal Priest and King of the universe; that by offering Himself a spotless Victim and peace-offering on the altar of the Cross, He might accomplish the mysteries of man's redemption, and that having subjected all creatures to His dominion, He might present to Thine infinite Majesty an everlasting and universal Kingdom; a kingdom of truth and life; and kingdom of holiness and grace; a kingdom of justice, love, and peace. …..



Immortalitátis alimóniam consecúti, quǽsumus, Dómine: ut, qui sub Christi Regis vexíllis militáre gloriámur, cum ipso, in cœlésti sede, iúgiter regnáre póssimus.

We have received the food of eternal life, and we beseech You, O Lord, that we who are proud to serve under the flag of Christ the King may forever reign with Him in the Kingdom of heaven.


Click here for a New Liturgical Movement article that includes illuminating commentary and polished translations of the orations for the feast of Christ the King.



These extraordinary form (EF) propers emphasize the Kingship of Christ in the here and now on earth, and his dominion over all nations and people of the world, whether Catholic or not.


Whereas the ordinary form (OF) liturgy of Christ the King emphasizes His sovereignty over His cosmic kingdom that will be perfected and fully manifested only at the end of time, with the Second Coming. For instance, compare the EF collect above with the following


OF Collect for Christ the King

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui in dilecto Filio tuo, universorum Rege, omnia instaurare voluisti, concede propitius, ut tota creatura, a servitute liberata, tua maiestati deserviat ac te sine fine collaudet.

Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise.


With no mention here of the earthly submission to Christ of “all the nations of mankind”.





This feast proclaims the universal kingship of Christ not only over the Churches Militant, Penitent, and Triumphant, not only over heaven and the whole world in a theological sense, but also over all the nations and peoples on the earth here below. From a commentary on the office and hymns that were composed especially for this feast:


Christ is not a King merely by figure or by courtesy. While His Kingdom is not of this world, His teaching commands obedience in the minds and hearts of men both in their home life and in their social and business relations. Nor does this apply only to individuals, but also to societies, cities, states and nations. Wherever there is a question of ethics, justice, morality or religion, there Christ’s authority is supreme. Modern secularism would banish Christ from the family, school and state, all unmindful to the greatest fact in history, that “unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Ps. 126:1).



In his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas establishing this feast, Pope Pius XI wrote


Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: “His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ.” Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ.

Van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece, 1427


This Catholic doctrine of “the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ” is expressed in the following verses (in English translation) of the Latin Vespers hymn Te saeculorum Principem in the traditional Divine Office for the Feast of Christ the King:


Thou, Prince of all ages, Thou, O Christ, the King of the nations,
we acknowledge Thee the one Judge of all hearts and minds.

The wicked mob screams out. "We don't want Christ as king,"
While we, with shouts of joy, hail Thee as the world's supreme King.


May the rulers of the world publicly honor and extol Thee; May teachers and judges         reverence Thee;
May the laws express Thine order and the arts reflect Thy beauty.


May kings find renown in their submission and dedication to Thee.
Bring under Thy gentle rule our country and our homes.

Glory be to Thee, O Jesus, supreme over all secular authorities;
And glory be to the Father and the loving Spirit through endless ages.


Click here for an illuminating New Liturgical Movement article that details the deep and far-reaching meaning, background, and significance of the feast of Christ the King.


(Hans Memling, Christ Surrounded by Musician Angels, c. 1480)


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