Christ the King Day is a Catholic celebration that takes place on the last Sunday of the liturgical year in the Catholic faith — on November 26 this year. Originally a Roman Catholic feast, it is now observed by Christians of all denominations as a way to recognize and honor Jesus Christ as the ‘King of Kings.’ The church’s aim to remind the increasingly secular world of the importance of God and his teachings is one of the key reasons for the celebration.
History of Christ the King Day
Christ the King Day was initiated in 1925 by Pope Pius XI as a response to the spread of secularism in the modern world and to remind the world of Jesus Christ’s rule on mankind. Initially a Roman Catholic holiday celebrated on the last Sunday of October, many Christian denominations have since adopted the holiday.
The holiday’s origins can be traced back to Pope Pius XI’s view that Jesus Christ is the eternal ruler of the world. This truth is underlined and outlined throughout history in gospels, novels, and art, where Jesus Christ is constantly shown at the center of compositions and is referred to in venerable, regal terms. According to legend, Jesus Christ is worshiped by all angels and mortals, and everyone is subject to him and must recognize his reign as a result of Christ’s hypostatic union with all creatures on Earth and beyond.
In a modern world that has since come to know anti-religious ideologies such as fascism and communism, the celebrations act as a way to ground the human race back to Earth in recognition of God and the benevolence of Christ. In general, the roles of a good King include the ability to bring order into lives, unify the people, convey the truth, protect the people from harm, and do what is best for them. For those in the Christian and Catholic faiths, Jesus Christ exemplifies all the traits of a good King as he fulfills all the traits that compel his followers to live proper lives.
Thus, the celebrations remind Catholics and Christians of Jesus Christ’s eternal authority over the world, as it is the only kind of authority that is not temporal and fleeting. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops simplifies the solemn day as a reminder that while governments come and go, Christ reigns as King forever.
Christ the King Day timeline
The church in Rome celebrates the first Christmas on December 25.
Pope Pius XI proclaims the Feast of Christ the King as an official Catholic celebration.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, Pope Pius XI leads a church in holding the inaugural our Lord Christ the King mass.
Pope Paul VI revises the Roman Catholic calendar, moving Christ the King Day to the final Sunday of the liturgical year.
Christ the King Day FAQs
What is the color for Christ the King Sunday?
Christ the King Day, along with Christmas, Epiphany Sunday, Easter, Trinity Sunday, Transfiguration Sunday, and Baptism of the Lord Sunday is represented by white.
What does Christ the King stand for?
Christ the King refers to Jesus Christ’s position as ‘King of Kings.’ In many depictions, Christ is placed seated on the right of the hand of God, which is considered a place of honor that affirms his equal status to the Father.
What does Advent stand for?
‘Advent’ is Latin for ‘coming.’ Thus, it is the period on the Christian calendar dedicated to the preparation for the second coming of Christ.
How to Observe Christ the King Day
Go to a mass at your local church
At your local church, attend a Christ the King liturgy. Special processions, such as reading “The Act of Dedication of the Human Race” to Jesus Christ the King prayer or even Pope Pius XI's “Quas Primas” statement, may be included in these masses. The dates may differ depending on the denomination.
Bring some themed pastries for your fellow churchgoers
One of the festive ways to celebrate Christ the King Day is to bake cakes that represent the kingship of Jesus Christ. Popular foods include crown cupcakes — which are cupcakes that have thorns made from icing — or king cakes, which are baked in the shape of a crown. Share these treats with your fellow parishioners for a lovely end to a wonderful mass.
Prepare a kingly feast for your loved ones
It's not called the Feast of Christ the King for nothing! Prepare a lovely feast for your friends, family, or even your fellow churchgoers to enjoy in commemoration of this day. Chicken ala king is a recommended dish for the occasion.
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Why Christ the King Day is Important
It shows how important Christ is to the world
Christ the King Day shows Jesus Christ's power in the hearts of many of his followers. Many individuals all around the world have shaped their lives around the core Christian ideas of becoming a good person by accepting him as their lord and savior. The more individuals who follow or respect these ideals in the world, the better.
It brings people together
Christ the King Day is also a time when families come together to celebrate their lord and savior. It is a time that encourages wholesome interaction between fellow humans to do good in the name of Christ.
It reminds the world to express their thanks to Christ
The fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins is something that people often overlook. Pope Pius XI established Christ the King Day to remind the secular world that Christ's and God's authority are the sole absolutes. As a result, the day serves as a reminder to be thankful for Christ's unselfish act in securing mankind's survival.
Christ the King Day dates