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Christ the King

Started by Richard Johnson, November 20, 2010, 03:22:05 PM

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Richard Johnson

Though I tend toward antiquarianism, I have come to love the recent (comparatively) church year innovation of the Festival of Christ the King. To me it is a perfect climax to the year, and transition to the next Advent--a day that celebrates Christ as King, and yet confronts us with the irony of a crown of thorns.

And to me, it would not be possible to worship on Christ the King without singing "Crown Him with Many Crowns." For some very obscure reason (I'd love to know it!) that was the first hymn I ever memorized. I remember singing it walking home from elementary school, all six verses (I think the version I learned had only six; originally there were at least nine).

Part of it, of course, was the fabulous melody "Diademata." Who wouldn't love to sing that tune?

Part of it also was the great vocabulary. Here in one hymn, we get both "Potentate divine" and "ineffably sublime." Such a feast of words!

But perhaps the most attractive thing to me is the hymn's proclamation of the whole story of Christ: the Lamb upon the throne, yes, but also the God incarnate born, the Lord of life, the Lord of peace, the Lord of love, the Lord of years. The One in whom all things hold together, in my life and in the universe.

All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity.

The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Jeremy Loesch

I like Christ the King too, preferring it to Sunday of the Fulfillment.  I think that Christ the King is easier to understand, and the preparation for Advent is a nice touch.  A very nice ending to the year, but also a nice continuation.  We're also singing Diademata tomorrow but also rejoicing to sing some of the hymns in the Church section of LSB.

Nice piece Richard.  Thanks.  Happy Thanksgiving too. 

A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.


I love Christ the King. It matches our entry into Lent with the Tranfiguration (an innovation of the Lutherans back in the day).  The three Gospels for each year are well chosen.

Peace, JOHN



That IS a great hymn.  Not one we are singing this year, however. 


I, too, love this pairing of tune and text (DIADEMATA). And I find the 5th verse truly complements and completes the appointed Gospel for Year C,
"And round his pierced feet
 Fair flow'rs of paradise extend..."

And given that this Holy Day emerges from the rubble of post WW I Europe, the promise that "wars may cease" in prayer and praise always brings me to tears.

May it be so. May His Kingdom come. May it come to us, too.


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