Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Solemnity of Our Lord Christ the King

Rex tremendae maiestatis
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis


King of tremendous majesty
Who saves those to be saved for free,
Save me, fount of piety.

Not that it's my business casting judgment (I am after all a creatura judicanti responsura), but most of the changes to our Church Caledar made some decades back seem pointless or worse. Ordinary Time, anyone? I think there's an exception to be made, however, for today's feast. November being the month of meditation upon death, of prayer for the faithful dead and for hearing Requiems, as well as the end of the Liturgical year, ending it a celebration of the Crucified God's kingship over all creation seems eminently fitting. Send the year out with a bang, not a whimper! Not only that, but it provides an excellent transition into the next year and perhaps points out some often-overlooked points. Advent is, of course, the season of purification anticipating Christimas, but with Christmas being more and more hyped up every year, Advent's eschatological dimension seems more and more rarely noticed. Its function is not simply to help us spiritually recapitulate old Israel's waiting and longing for the Messiah's first advent, but also the heighten and make explicit our anticipation of the second. Today's Solemnity seems to tie together November's liturgical focus with December's, and help us to make our Advent not only an anticipation of Christmas, but also an anticipation of our own death, judgment, resurrection, and (hopefully) participation in Christ's kingship of the universe.

That's all my preaching for today. We can all get back to our liturgical griping now.

5 comments:

Lee Faber said...

Requiems?

Lee Faber said...

I found this inflammatory remark on fisheaters.org

"Note: In the Novus Ordo, this Feast was moved from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday of the Season after Pentecost, which is the Sunday before Advent Sunday. The effect of this is to interrupt the relationship between the reign of Christ with His Saints, who are commemorated en masse on 1 November, and the necessity of our recognizing His Kingship now, during this "thousand years" of the Church Age. With the Feast moved to the very last Sunday in the Time After Pentecost, it leads one to believe that Christ isn't King now, and that all persons and nations don't need to recognize Him as King now -- but that He will be recognized as King only at the end of time when He reveals Himself at His Second Advent. In other words, the moving of the Feast symbolically defeats the very purpose of the Feast, which is to not only honor the very fact of His Kingship, but to pray for the conversion of all people and nations to His Church so that souls will be saved and the social order will conform to the moral law."

Lee Faber said...

hmm...Scotus and Christ the King?

From the EWTN bio:

"Here you will find a brief biography of Bl. John Duns Scotus, Franciscan Priest and Theologian of the Thirteenth Century. Next to St. Bonaventure, Bl. John is perhaps the most important and influential theologian in the history of the Franciscan Order. He was the founder of the Scotistic School in Theology, and until the time of the French Revolution his thought dominated the Roman Catholic faculties of theology in nearly all the major universities of Europe. He is chiefly known for his theology on the Absolute Kingship of Jesus Christ, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his philosophic refutation of evolution."

Michael said...

Re: requiems; I at least feel more compelled to listen to Requiem masses in the weeks after All Souls day, and during the autumn generally.

The fisheaters' reading of the move seems less plausible to me than my own (big surprise). I'm not so sure that the connection with All Saints is really very clear. Certainly putting it near All Saints Day doesn't, as far as I can tell, do anything to emphasise the necessity of recognizing Christ's kingship here and now. And their point about the new relationship with Advent would make more sense if Christ the King came after Advent rather than before.

What is this scotistic refutation of evolution I've been hearing so much about?

Lee Faber said...

Though it seems oddly confirmed by the papal preacher Fr. Cantalamessa who in his Christ the king homily said that now the emphasis is on Jesus being king of my heart, rather than socio-political kingship. Perhaps not relevant to the calendar change.

I don't know about this evolution claim. He did attack (so i hear, though I didn't see it in Ord. II) the seminal reasons, which are kind of like evolution.