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In addition to themes of Thanksgiving, this Sunday, November 22nd, is celebrated in many traditions as Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday, an observation that began relatively “recently” (1925) in Roman Catholic and Lutheran churches, but which has increasingly become recognized ecumenically as the final Sunday of the Church liturgical year — the culmination of our cyclical journey of worship life together, with Christ as the Center, the First and Last.


November 22, 2020: Christ the King/Reign of Christ


From Worship Resources

Liturgical Color: White

Much of Christ’s teaching was about a new kind of kingdom where the rules were unconventional when compared to the world’s standards. Things like the greatest will be least, love your enemies, and indeed, the only earthly crown Jesus wore was made of thorns. Yet, the themes of this celebratory Sunday reflect beyond Christ’s victory over death, to the culmination of his reign over all creation as Lord of Life.

Scriptures for Year A:

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 (The Lord’s promise: to shepherd the people)
Psalm 100 (We are God’s people: the sheep of God’s pasture; enter with thanksgiving)
Ephesians 1:15-23 (The reign of Christ)
Matthew 25:31-46 (The coming King and judge; as you did to the least, you did to me)

Themes: God as Shepherd, Praise, Reign of Christ, Servanthood, Thanksgiving



Suggestions of Hymns and Anthems

All Creatures of Our God and King (LASST UNS ERFREUEN)
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (CORONATION; DIADEM; MILES LANE)
At the Name of Jesus (KING’S WESTON)
Crown Him With Many Crowns (DIADEMATA)
Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun (DUKE STREET)
Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven (LAUDA ANIMA)
Rejoice, the Lord is King (DARWALL)
The King of Love My Shepherd Is (ST. COLUMBA)
You, Lord, Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (PICARDY)

ANTIPHON: LET ALL THE WORLD IN EVERY CORNER SING – R. Vaughan Williams; © 1911, ECS (SATB, Kybd, opt. Orch)
BE THOU MY VISION – Heather Sorenson, arr.; © 2012, Hal Leonard (SATB, Pno, opt. Ob, Vln, Cel)
CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT – Bernadette Farrell; © 1993, OCP (U/2-Pt, Kybd, Gtr, Fl, Trpt)
CORONATION – Craig Courtney; © 1986, Beckenhorst (2-Pt Mixed, Kybd, opt. Horn, Brass-4)
MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE UNTO THE LORD – William Mathias; © 1965, Oxford (SATB, Org)
PSALM 100 – René Clausen; © 1986, Mark Foster (SSA, Pno-4 Hands, opt. Ch Orch)
WHEN THE POOR ONES – David Cherwien, arr; © 2010, MorningStar (SATB, Gtr)


Prayers, Quotes & Liturgies


I was struck recently by Jesus saying to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and thinking how many million times each second people pray, “Thy kingdom come.” Do we really want the radical reversal of all our assumed values that that ‘world’ would entail?

— SISTER JANE, SLG, Loving God Whatever


+  +  +


(Inspired by Psalm 2, Ezekiel 34, Matthew 25, and Psalm 100)

Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
Our hope is in Christ our King.
The sheep are scattered in doubt and fear;
Our hope is in Christ our King.
The least of these are waiting for justice;
Our hope is in Christ our King.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord;
Our hope is in Christ our King.
God has made us, and we are His;
Our hope is in Christ our King.
Let us enter His gates with thanksgiving,
and His courts with praise;
Our hope is in Christ our King.



+  +  +


Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us;
let us find our rest in thee.
Born thy people to deliver;
born a child and yet a king;
born to reign in us forever;
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

— CHARLES WESLEY (1707–1788)


+  +  +


(after Matthew 25)

God our shepherd, we confess that we have sinned against you with our minds, our bodies, our tongues, by our actions, and by our inaction. We have used our strength to take advantage of those who are weaker; we have failed to offer relief to the hungry, the destitute, the sick, the prisoners. We are not worthy to inherit your kingdom. In your steadfast love and faithfulness, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we might be your people, the sheep of your pasture, and walk in your ways, giving thanks and blessing your name. Amen. (DCJ)


(Inspired by Psalm 100, Ezekiel 34)

Our God, whose steadfast love endures forever, offers mercy now even to us. Our God, whose faithfulness extends to all generations, is faithful now to forgive us, to bring us back into his fold, to bind up our injuries, and to strengthen us in our weakness. Amen. (DCJ)

+  +  +


O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in Thee.
Let Thy mighty calmness
reign in me;
rule me, O King of Gentleness, King of peace. . . .
By Thine own deep patience,
give me patience.
Make me in this and all things
more and more like Thee. Amen.

— JOHN OF THE CROSS (1542–1591)


+  +  +

A king knocks on the doorkeeper’s door and laughing, leads everyone out to a table.

— JALALUDDIN RUMI (1207-1273) / Coleman Barks, paraphrase


+  +  +


(Inspired by Ephesians 1)

And now may the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation; may God enlighten the eyes of our hearts; may we know the hope to which God has called us; and may we experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power for us who believe. (DCJ)



*Thanks to Dr. Dalen C. Jackson for his contributions of these prayers and liturgies. Dalen is the Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, Georgetown, Kentucky.

Be Thou My Vision, by Mike Moyers, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved November 18, 2020]. Original source: Mike Moyers,