Letter from the Archbishop
Writing of the issues surrounding the pandemic and, in particular, the regulations concerning the prohibition relating to the gathering of people for communal worship in churches, Cardinal Vincent Nichols as President of the Bishops’ Conference has said:
“At this difficult moment, we ask that, as a Catholic community, we make full use of our churches as places of individual prayer and sources of solace and help. We must sustain each other in our patterns of prayer, joining a national shared moment of prayer each day at 6pm and observing the Vigil of Christ the King (21 November) as a day of prayer for the ending of this pandemic. And we encourage you all in your practical service and support of each other and those in need around you”.
To assist in this endeavour, I attach prayers devotions and intercessions which may be used in the days leading up to the Feast of Christ the King. Some of them might be suitable for a Holy Hour on the vigil of the feast and for publication in parish newsletters and websites.
Archbishop of Cardiff
& Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Menevia
Background to the Feast
This feast day was instituted by Pope Pius XI on December 11th in 1925 within the encyclical letter Quas Primas. The Holy Father was responding to the fact that the world was becoming increasingly nationalistic and secular. Governments were claiming more and more allegiance from their citizens and attempting to replace God.
“While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.” Quas Primas, 25
Pope Pius XI, therefore, created this feast to help the faithful to remember that allegiance to Christ is above any allegiance to government of a nation.
“The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the law and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments of justice unto God.” Quas Primas, 33
“When we pay honour to the princely dignity of Christ, men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power.” Quas Primas, 31
Let us pray to Jesus the King of all nations, he is Christ the King!
PRAYER FOR THE NATION
SATURDAY 14 NOVEMBER
at this time of crisis
when so many are suffering,
we pray for our nation and our world.
Give our leaders wisdom, our Health Service strength, our people hope.
Lead us through these parched
and difficult days
to the fresh springs of joy and comfort that we find in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Loving Father God
Be with us in our distress:
with our families, friends and neighbours,
our country and our world.
Give health to the sick, hope to the fearful,
and comfort to the mourners.
Give wisdom to our frontline and key workers, insight to our government and patience to us all;
Overcome disease with the power of your new life, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
CHRIST THE KING NOVENA PRAYERS
Saturday 14th November
Christ, our Saviour and our King, renew in us allegiance to Your Kingship. We pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things.
O Prince of Peace, may Your reign be complete in our lives and in the life of the world.
As we reflect on Your second, glorious coming and the judgment of all humanity, show us mercy and give us the grace to become great saints. We pray that not only will we spend eternity with You but that You may use us to bring others into Your Kingdom for Your glory.
Christ the King, Your Kingdom come! Amen