Sunday, 30 October 2016

Christ is King! In the here and now and the hereafter

This last Sunday in October in the traditional Roman Rite, is the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King. In the modern rite it was moved to the last Sunday of the liturgical year in just one more of a flurry of liturgical changes issued by Pope Paul VI in his motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis

At this time of year in both the traditional and revised liturgy, the Mass begins to focus on the four last things and the eschatological theology that is a reality for humanity. This last Sunday of October was the date chosen for this relatively new Feast, it was instituted by Pope Pius XI in his 1925 encyclical letter Quas Primas in response to growing nationalism and secularism and to the radical and violent anti-Christian secularism of communism. 

The title of the feast was "D. N. Jesu Christi Regis" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, King) and immediately preceded the Feast of All Saints and then All Souls, intentionally. Christ comes as King, is joined by His holy Saints and then all the Holy Souls to reign for eternity. The last Sunday in October is also known in protestant circles as "Reformation Sunday" and the Pope was providing with clarity, the Social Kingship of Christ in this world through the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

In this year, 2016, we will witness the very Bishop of Rome himself travelling to Sweden to praise Martin Luther and commemorate the so-called "reformation" but more appropriately, revolution. Luther's actions have led millions of souls to Hell and the secular result is revolution through freemasonry, illuminism, communism and secular humanism. 

Italy also experienced another severe earthquake this morning destroying the historical basilica and monastery of Norcia. 

All coincidental, to be sure.

Liturgically speaking, the sung Proper of the Mass, the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory and Communion of both Missals are the same. The Collect, Secret/Super Oblata and the Postcommunion are quite different and Father Z takes these apart and highlights the change emphasis as a result of these changes. 

The scripture readings are different. According to the Roman Missal of 1962, we read an Epistle from the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians, 1:12-20 while the Gospel is that of St. John 18:33-37. In the Revised Lectionary for the Ordinary Form, we read in Year A for the Lesson, Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17; the Epistle is from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 15:20-26,28 and the Gospel is from St. Matthew 25:31-46. In Year B, our current year as this is written, we will read the Lesson from the prophet Daniel 7:13-14, the Epistle from the Apocalypse of St. John, 1:5-8 and the Gospel is from St. John, 18:33-37. In Year C the Lesson is II Samuel 5:1-3, the Epistle is St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians 1:12-20 (as in the EF, above) with the Gospel from St. Matthew 25:31-46. The Responsory (the correct name for the "Responsorial" psalm) and the Gospel verse vary, if sung from the Graduale Romanum, 1974, they are static as in the Proper referred to above.

An unfortunate reality is the rupture of dates, never asked for or anticipated by the Council Fathers. It is all very unfortunate that we continue on different pages in the Rite(s?) and something that can be hoped for is some future harmony. Which is best? 

There is a reason behind Pope Paul VI's argument, Christ, comes as King at the end of time symbolized by the end of the Church year. However, Pope Pius XI had a reason for instituting this feast and if he believed that it was the eschatological dimension that was necessary to associate with it, he would have done so. That eschatological event is the Gospel for the Last Sunday after Pentecost so the debate is moot, it is there. The feast was instituted to tell us, now, in this secular world that Christ is King of the Social Order in the here and now, not just in that which is to come.

In the last paragraph of Father Z's article while finding it hard to "find fault" with the new prayers he goes on to write that "The change of placement of the feast and the change of theology of the prayers probably reflect the soft approach to Communism adopted by Rome in those years, called ostopolitik." When we compare the prayers, there is a clear reduction of emphasis on "triumphant language and imagery " It was as if "the writers of the newer prayers did not want to give the impression that Christ was to be accepted as Lord and King by political entities in this earthly existence." 

Anglican convert, Blessed John Henry Newman contemporary, founder of the London Oratory and prolific hymn-writer, Father Faber wrote that "all change is bad from its very nature. It is full of evil; it unsettles and disturbs; it is full of the world; it is the very spirit of the world; and nothing worse can be said of it." It is truly unsettling that one Pope would come along only 45 years later and change what a previous Pope had instituted  This is what we have endured - a tinker, tinker mentality that had nothing to do with the Second Vatican Council or its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

Somebody around the Vatican thought that they had a better idea and they convinced a Pope that it was, just like the Octave of Pentecost. Yet, even to this  day, there are those who still attempt to uncrown Him. 


Anonymous said...

Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925. Please compare paragraph 2 (correct Pope) with paragraph 7 (incorrect Pope).

Sorry, it's the proofreader in me. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Vox,

Cardinal Pie was a great champion of the Social Kingship of Christ. Maybe you could write a post about him and his works sometime. The Angelus used to print excerpts of his works:

Yours in Christ the King,


Wishing you and yours a happy Feast of Christ the King.

Anonymous said...

It should be called the deformation.Pope Francis praises Loathsome luther, for bringing his own version of the Bible to the people ,despite the fact there were 17 different German translations of the Bible circulating in Germany at the time.The claim that Luther put the Bible into the hands of the people are a lie. Are We All Lutherans now? : Martin Luther in His Own Words

Anonymous said...

Some good news