Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Feast of Christ the King 2021

Aspiciébam in visu noctis, et ecce in núbibus caeli Filius hóminis veniébat: et datum est ei regnum et honor: * Et omnis pópulus, tribus et linguae servient ei. V. Potestas ejus, potestas aeterna, quae non auferétur: et regnum ejus, quod non corrumpétur. R. Et omnis pópulus... (The second responsory of Matins of Christ the King.)

Christ in the traditional regalia of the Chinese Emperor.
R. I saw in a vision during the night, and behold, the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven; and the kingdom and honor were given to Him. * And every people, nation and tongue shall serve him. V. His might is an everlasting might that shall not be taken away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed. And every people...
By the time the feast of Christ the King was instituted in 1925, the hour of Matins was very rarely sung outside of a fairly small number of monasteries, and even then, only on major feasts, and this had been the case for quite a long time. To the degree that it was done in choir at all, it was usually done recto tono. (The common exceptions were Christmas Matins before Midnight Mass and Tenebrae.) As a result, there was little impetus to compose new responsories when new feasts were promulgated. For example, when Pope Clement XIII first granted permission for the feast of Sacred Heart to be celebrated in certain places, the Matins responsories of the Office which he promulgated for it were all borrowed from Tenebrae, Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi. Likewise, this responsory is borrowed for Christ the King from the very ancient corpus of Gregorian chants for the first Sunday of Advent, which is why a recording of it is available at all.

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