Christ the King Sunday

Christ the KingToday was the last Sunday of the Christian Year, when we observe Christ the King Sunday.  It is a fitting conclusion to the Church year, and also a wonderful prelude to Advent, where we look back at the first coming of Christ, as well as look forward to his return to reign as King in the new heaven and earth.

At St. Bartholomew‘s we began our service today with the first two verses of “Rejoice, the Lord Is King! (tune; GOPSAL) segueing to “Crown Him with Many Crowns (vs. 1, 3, 5 in The Hymnal 1982) as our processional.

In place of the “Gloria” we sang “Lord Most High” (Harris/Sadler) and “Agnus Dei” (Michael W. Smith).

The appointed Psalm was 100 – I chose the metrical setting in the hymnal “All People That on Earth Do Dwell (OLD 100th). I utilized the accompaniment from the choral arrangement for choir and congregation by R. Vaughan Williams composed for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. The 3rd verse with just voices and  the solo “trumpet” from the organ was especially nice.

Our sequence hymn was the first two verses of “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” – our only direct nod to Thanksgiving.

During the offertory, the Chamber Singers offered C.H.H Parry’s “My Soul, There Is a Country” with beauty, precision, and conviction. Hats off to director David Madeira and the choir!

During communion we sang “Grace Alone” (Nelson/Brown), and introduced a new song (composed by my assistant director David Madeira) “High King of Heaven,” with text based on passages from Psalm 98 and Isaiah 11 and 49. I’ll be using this for Advent, but it fit Christ the King Sunday as well  it seemed  a good time to introduce it to the parish. Communion concluded with Tom Howard (my former assistant director)  and Gary Sadler’s “King of Love,” a song rich in imagery of Christ as King, both suffering and reigning, and “At the Name of Jesus” to my hymn tune BELLE RIVE,  first published in the the GIA hymnal Hymns for a Pilgrim People.

Our service concluded with the Michael Parry text “Christ Triumphant, Ever Reigning” set to GUITING POWER by John Barnard.

If your church observes Christ the King Sunday, what music was chosen?

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4 responses to “Christ the King Sunday

  1. Can you tell me where I can find a copy of music and/or words for “King of Love”? It is on a CD purchased recently, but the words are indistinguishable. Thank you!

      (Gary Sadler/ Tom Howard)

      King of Love, Son of God,
      Grace came down to free my heart.
      I’m overcome, you broke the chains,
      how can I resist such love as this?
      O King of Love.

      King of Love, torn with pain,
      from your cross you spoke my name.
      I’m overcome, my heart is changed,
      how can I resist such love as this?
      O King of Love

      King of Love, Risen Christ,
      thank you, Lord, for you sacrifice.
      I’m overcome, I’m lost in praise;
      how can I resist such love as this?
      O King of Love.

      © 1996 Doulos Publishing

  2. Sounds like my kind of service! Your approach to planning is very similar to what I try to do at our Lutheran church. Question: You swap out the Gloria with “Lord Most High” and “Agnus Dei” (which I would more frequently use in place of the Sanctus), but do you normally try to get the complete ordinary of the mass in a service? Would, for example, your Kyrie just be sung from the hymnal/service book, or do you have other music you typically swap out for it?

    • The Gloria is usually the only piece in the ordinary of the mass we would swap out. The Book of Common Prayer calls for the Gloria or a suitable hymn of praise. In Lent we use a Kyrie, and during the Eucharist we always sing a Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Lord’s Prayer and Agnus Dei verbatim, although different musical settings, both from the hymnal, other sources and settings composed within our parish. We don’t sing the Creed (yet – I’m hoping to set that to music as well). And we do sometimes sing a Gloria – either the Powell in The Hymnal 1982 or a setting I composed last year.

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