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The Crown of Thorns by Matthias Stom

Christ the King

The Crown of Thorns by Matthias Stom

The Reign of Christ

On Sunday 22 November, Roman Catholics and Anglicans/Episcopalians again share a common collect. I am working on producing a full set of shared collects for the church year. My work so far can be found here: Book of Prayers in Common. My rendering for this coming Sunday is:

Let us pray (in silence) [that the reign of Christ may live in our hearts and come to our world]


Almighty ever-living God, [or Sovereign God]
it is your will to gather up all things
in your beloved one,
reigning in the universe
in the power that is love,
mercifully grant
that the whole of creation,
freed from slavery,
may serve and praise you
through Jesus Christ
who is alive with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The original is:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui in dilecto Filio tuo, universorum Rege, omnia instaurare voluisti: Concede propitius, ut cunctae familiae Gentium, peccati vulnere disgregatae, eius suavissimo subdantur imperio; qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

I provide a commentary here.

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image: The Crown of Thorns by Matthias Stom (1615–1649).

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2 thoughts on “Christ the King”

  1. Hello Bosco, thanks as always for your posts. I wonder whether you have any opinion on Tom Wright’s critique of the feast of Christ the King? He argues that we already have a feast of Christ the King – Ascension – and that placing it at the end of the church year unhelpfully suggests or unduly emphasises that Christ’s reign is the (future) end point of the Christian story rather than something already under way, however incomplete. (I hope that’s a fair summary.)

    1. Fascinating, thanks, Chris. Isn’t it both/and? Isn’t the Kingdom already but not yet? So might Ascension be the stressing of already, and Christ the King the stressing of but not yet? Would Tom Wright abolish one or other of the celebrations of Transfiguration just because we celebrate that twice each year? My own concern is that many will image Christ the King as a human-type king this Sunday – whereas Jesus is subverting kingship on the throne of the cross, crowned with thorns, and reigning through service. I wonder whether Tom Wright’s image is more encouraging the former one that needs subverting especially in sermons (and living) this Sunday? Blessings.

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