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Christ the King

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Christ the King
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Christ the king live the brooklyn tabernacle choir

Christ the King is a title of Jesus Christ. It refers to the concept of the Kingdom of God where the Christ is imagined as seated at the Right Hand of God (as opposed to the secular title of King of the Jews mockingly given at the crucifixion).


The title "Christ the King" is also frequently used as a name for churches, schools, seminaries, hospitals and religious institutes.

For christ the king

Biblical basis

The titles of "Christ" and "king" are not used together in the gospel, but "Christ" is in itself a royal title (i.e. "the anointed [king]"). In the Greek text, the Christ is explicitly identified as king (βασιλεύς) several times, so in Matthew 2:2 ("Where is the newborn king of the Jews?"). In John 18, Pilate refers to the implication that the Christ is a royal title by inquiring explicitly if Jesus claims to be the "king of the Jews" (βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων). Similarly, in John 1:49, a follower addresses Jesus as "the king of Israel" (ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ).

Outside of the gospel, the First Epistle to Timothy (6:14–15) explicitly applies the phrase of "king of kings and lord of lords" (Βασιλεὺς βασιλέων καὶ κύριος κυρίων), taken from the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 10:17) to Jesus Christ.

Ubi arcano Dei consilio

Pope Pius XI's first encyclical was Ubi arcano Dei consilio of December 1922. Writing in the aftermath of World War I, Pius noted that while there had been a cessation of hostilities, there was no true peace. He deplored the rise of class divisions and unbridled nationalism, and held that true peace can only be found under the Kingship of Christ as "Prince of Peace". "For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example."

Quas primas

Christ's kingship was addressed again in the encyclical Quas primas of Pope Pius XI, published in 1925. Michael D. Greaney called it "possibly one of the most misunderstood and ignored encyclicals of all time." The pontiff's encyclical quotes with approval Cyril of Alexandria, noting that Jesus's kingship was given to him by the Father, and was not obtained by violence: "'Christ,' he says, 'has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature.'" He also referenced Leo XIII's 1899 Annum sacrum wherein Leo relates the Kingship of Christ to devotion to his Sacred Heart.

Pope Pius XI instituted the feast of Christ the King in 1925 to remind Christians that their allegiance was to their spiritual ruler in heaven as opposed to earthly supremacy. Pope Benedict XVI remarked that Christ's kingship is not based on "human power" but on loving and serving others.

The hymn "To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King", was written by Msgr. Martin B. Hellrigel in 1941 to the tune "Ich Glaub An Gott".

Feast of Christ the King

The Feast of Christ the King was instituted by Pius XI in 1925. It is celebrated by some Protestant denominations on the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent.

Some traditionalist Catholics, who use pre-1970 versions of the General Roman Calendar, and the Anglican Catholic Church celebrate it instead on the last Sunday of October, the Sunday before All Saints' Day, which is the day that was assigned in 1925.


Many religious facilities are named in honor of Christ the King:

  • Christ the King Cathedral, Kottayam, India
  • Basilica of Christ the King, Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Christ the King Cathedral, Mullingar - First cathedral in the world to be dedicated under that title
  • The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool
  • Christ the King Cathedral, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Cathedral of Christ the King (Lexington, Kentucky)
  • Cathedral of Christ the King (Lubbock, Texas)
  • Christ the King Cathedral, Tagum Davao del Norte, Philippines
  • Christus Koningkerk, parish church originally built for the 1930 World's Fair, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Rīgas Kristus Karaļa draudzes baznīca (Riga's Christ the King's parish church) Riga, Latvia
  • Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Chicago, Illinois
  • Christ the King Church, Sector 19, Chandigarh, India
  • Christ the King church, Pammal, Chennai, India.
  • Christ the King Church, Dorgachola, Mymensingh, Bangladesh
  • Christ the King Anglican Church (also known as Christ the King Garrison Church), Tripoli, Libya
  • Christ the King Catholic Church, Mdantsane, East London, South Africa
  • Christ the King Catholic Church, Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Christ the King Reformed Episcopal Church, Pasadena, Maryland
  • the Church of Christ the King, Bloomsbury, London, England
  • Christ the King Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas
  • Christ the King Episcopal Church, Stone Ridge, New York
  • Christ the King Church, Kottappuram, Mulavana(via),Kollam, Kerala, India
  • Christ the King Baptist Church, Dacula, Georgia
  • Christ the King Parish, Mashpee, Massachusetts
  • Christ the King Seminary, Diocese of Buffalo, East Aurora, New York
  • Christ the King Roman Catholic Church and School, Denver, Colorado
  • Christ the King Catholic School and Church, North Rocks, Australia
  • Christ the King Catholic Church and School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Christ the King Catholic Church and School, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Christ the King Catholic Church and School, Pleasant Hill, California
  • Christ the King Chapel, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa
  • Christus Rex Lutheran Campus Center, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Christ the King Catholic High School, Southport, UK
  • Christ the King High School, St. John's, Antigua
  • Christ the King Catholic Secondary School, Nottingham, England
  • References

    Christ the King Wikipedia

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