Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christ the King of the Universe - A Visit to St. Paul Seminary

The Feast of Christ the King (properly the Solemnity of Christ the King in the Roman Catholic Church) is a last holy Sunday in the western liturgical calendar, celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church and by many Protestants.

Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925, in response to growing nationalism and secularism.

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: "Domini Nostri Iesu Christi universorum Regis" (Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe). He also gave it a new date: the last Sunday in the liturgical year, before a new year begins with the First Sunday in Advent, the earliest date for which is 27 November.

Through this choice of date "the eschatological importance of this Sunday is made clearer". He assigned to it the highest rank, that of "Solemnity".

As happens with all Sundays whose liturgies are replaced by those of important feasts, the prayers of the 34th Sunday on which the celebration of Christ the King falls are used on the weekdays of the following week. The Sunday liturgy is thus not totally omitted.

The iconography of Christ the King is prominent in Ottawa's Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, as may be seen below:

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On Friday morning, I joined the residents of St. Paul's Seminary for the daily Mass celebrated at 7:20. Afterwards, I joined the community at breakfast. Some photos (the camera was not available in the chapel or sacristy):

An overview of the dining-room

Pere Alexandre Tache, o.m.i. whom I got to know when we were part of the Canadian delegation at the Synod of Bishops on "Priestly Formation in the Circumstances of Today", October 1990

Cooperation among religious orders: Pere Luc Tardif, o.m.i. (left) and Father Jobe Abbass, O.F.M. Conv.

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