Episcopalians (Anglicans) and Roman Catholics are again praying a similar prayer on the Feast of Christ the King – The Reign of Christ, the last Sunday of the Western Church’s year, November 21. Episcopalians will pray:
Almighty and everlasting God,
whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son,
the King of kings and Lord of lords:
Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin,
may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This is Howard Galley’s translation of the pre-Vatican II Roman Missal collect for the feast of Christ the King:
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.
After Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church moved the feast day and altered the double purpose clauses:
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
qui in dilecto Filio tuo, universorum Rege,
omnia instaurare voluisti,
ut tota creatura, a servitute liberata,
tuae maiestati deserviat ac te sine fine collaudet.
ICEL (1973) translates this as:
Almighty and merciful God,
you break the power of evil and make all things new
in your Son Jesus Christ, the King of the universe.
May all in heaven and earth
acclaim your glory
and never cease to praise you.
Let us widen the circle that prays this prayer together on Sunday beyond Catholics and Anglicans.
Kiwi Anglicans have another collect assigned to the feast of Christ the King. The formulary of the Prayer Book assigns the collect from “Epiphany 9”. The lectionary assigns:
Living Christ, you are risen from the dead!
You are life stronger than death;
raise our eyes to see you
as the new day dawns.
To which, I suspect, most collect lovers would instinctively respond with a groan rather than an Amen.
But Kiwi Anglicans are allowed to vary the collect from the one suggested. I encourage them to join the majority of Christians praying the above this coming Sunday, even if it is in the NZPB version:
Let us pray (in silence) [that the reign of Christ may live in our hearts and come to our world]
Almighty and eternal God,
you have made of one blood all the nations of the earth
and will that they live together
in peace and harmony;
so order the course of this world
that all peoples may be brought together
under Christ’s most gentle rule;
through Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
NZPB p. 637b
This Sunday for NZ Anglicans is titled: Christ the King (or The Reign of Christ) Sunday/ Ko te Karaiti te Kingi; Sunday before Advent / Te Ratapu i mua tata o te Haerenga Mai; 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time / Te Ratapu Toru tekau ma wha_ o He wa ano; (Proper 29) Aotearoa Sunday; Feast of Christ in All Creation
The NZ lectionary suggests red or green without explanation. I shall be following the majority Western practice of White. The NZ lectionary first changed from this tradition in 2008 – without any explanation.