The Church Year is a living history of ancient events brought to life each year – a cycle of festivals and seasons celebrated by Christians around the world for centuries. Christ the King Sunday (or the Sunday of the Fulfillment) is the last Sunday in the church year. Hoping to celebrate the lordship of Christ in a world of increasingly secular and non-Christian empires, in 1925 Pope Pius XI inaugurated the Sunday before Advent to be dedicated to Christ as King. It is a day when we celebrate and remember that ultimately God is in control and Christ is King forever. As we reflect on the seasons of the church year today, we are able to better understand just what kind of king Christ is. Through the first half of the church the year – the cycle of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany and Lent, Easter, and Pentecost, Christ’s saving work is revealed to us. Through the second half of the church the year – Ordinary Time, the focus shifts to our discipleship as a response to that grace.
image: Stained glass window of Christ the King, Tipperary, Ireland. St. Joseph’s Church Window Tu Rex Gloriae Christe by William Earley 1933