The Feast of Christ the King

20th November 2022

The Sunday next before Advent

Year C

The final Sunday after Pentecost

Proper 29


You can click to expand or minimize the order of service below.

All are requested to join in wherever text is GREEN or when instructed by Fr. David.

Where the is shown, all are encouraged to make the sign of the cross.

Where the is shown all are encouraged to strike their breast with a closed hand following the actions of Fr. David.

Where the is shown all are encouraged to tap their breast with an open hand following the actions of Fr. David.

Rejoice, the Lord is King,
Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

Jesus, the Saviour, reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When he had purged our stains,
He took his seat above:

His kingdom cannot fail;
He rules o’er earth and heaven;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus given:

He sits at God’s right hand
Till all his foes submit,
And bow to his command,
And fall beneath his feet:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice.

Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen


From Easter to Pentecost:

Allelulia. Christ is risen!

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia


In Lent and other penitential occasions:

Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins;

His mercy endures for ever.

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.


Let us pray:

Almighty God, to whom all hearts be open, all desires known and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

This prayer is omitted during Lent and Advent:

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth.  Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.  Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

 Holy God, holy and mighty , holy and immortal, have mercy on us.

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

A reading from the book of


Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.

The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, *
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;

3 Though its waters rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.

4 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.

6 God is in the midst of her;
she shall not be overthrown;
God shall help her at the break of day.

7 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken;
God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.

8 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

9 Come now and look upon the works of the Lord,
what awesome things he has done on earth.

10 It is he who makes war to cease in all the world;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire.

11 “Be still, then, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth.”

12 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

A reading from the letter of Paul to the


May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers– all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

This is the word of the Lord

Thanks be to God

All stand for the Acclamation and Gospel reading.

Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David!


The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to:


When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. The people stood by, watching Jesus on the cross; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

After the Gospel reading

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

This is the homily delivered Sunday, 20th November, The Feast of Christ the King:
What sort of king is Jesus of Nazareth?
​Today is the feast of Christ the King, and this is a new celebration in the history of the church: Pope Pius the XI wrote it into the liturgical calendar in 1925, and the ink is still drying, so to speak. But even if the day is young, it is still important and sacred: We are invited to meditate on the kingship of Christ, and this is no small thing.
​And so, I ask again: What sort of king is Jesus of Nazareth? In our gospel reading, He defies expectation in almost every way: He does not wear fine clothes, He does not walk through the soundwaves of a fanfare when He approaches a crowd to speak, He issues no demands, signs no laws; instead, He endures a cross. Christ is a strange and disfigured king, suspended in midair, hanging there with thieves and insurrectionists. Even the sign that identifies Him as the King of the Jews is painted in a spirit of mockery, not of respect, and so the word “king” diminishes Him and causes His glory to dim, fade, and ebb away, like an ocean tide receding toward a darkening and far off horizon.
​All of this confronts us with a mystery. The contrast between who Christ is, the king of heaven, and what he suffers is so great and stark that it leaves us reaching for words. But this is not the only mystery in the passage. There are also mysteries to be found in the criminals hanging near Him. One of them asks, understandably enough, “Why don’t you save us?” and at first this question seems to arise from his instinct for survival. It seems to express nothing more than desperation. And who can blame him? He is a dying man, after all. But granted a second look, this question is less about what Christ can do, and more about who He is. He is not asking, “What can you do for us?” but “Who are you?” Or, in other words: What sort of King is Jesus of Nazareth? Is He an earthly ruler, able to escape a cross? It remarkable that this man seems to focus less on his own suffering and more on the nature of Christ. Why did this question stir in his depths with such urgency? Why, on a cross of all places, did he choose to meditate on Christ the King?
​The other man is a mystery as well. He recognizes that Christ has done nothing wrong, and therefore it seems that He has discerned the Son of God even in the form of a slave—no small feat of wisdom. And yet at the same time, he is naïve. He believes in retributive justice, and when it comes to his own crucifixion, he says, “I deserve this.” In other words, he sees crucifixion as a way to pay for his sins. He sees the cross as a punishment, and a just one, and in doing so he declares his own death to be a part of the natural order: a criminal hanging in the air and dying for his crime is, for him—as it was for much of the pagan world—as natural as a sunset or rainfall. It is simply the way of things. The thief pays for his crime, and the sun rises again tomorrow. So it goes. He sees Christ’s innocence but fails to see the cruelty and excess of the punishment that took His life. But even though he is naïve, he still deserves credit, for he, too, asks, “What sort of king is Jesus of Nazareth?” and he, too, meditates on Christ the King.
​It seems that these men, these criminals in midair, can see in part. Or to borrow a metaphor from St. Paul, they see Christ through a glass darkly. They know He is a king. Perhaps they even know He is the Son of God. But they know in glimpses, and not in a full and clear view. It is like they have found a diamond in the earth, and they have picked it up and are turning it in the light, but it is a strange and uncut gem, and its crude, unrefined shape and the earth covering it make it all the harder to see the value.
lt is easy to assume that the incarnation makes the Father accessible to us in Christ, but in this passage, we see that this is not always true: He is right there with them, and yet they struggle to know Him. And it even seems that His human form—a Nazarene, a dying and broken slave, suspended in the air, night falling behind Him and turning His face to shadow—is an impediment to their knowledge, not an aid to it. And yet even so, they go on asking, “What sort of king is Jesus of Nazareth?” On the cross, they struggle to keep alive, but they also struggle with the mystery of Christ.
​And so, I ask again, my voice blending with theirs: “What sort of king is Christ?” This is a mystery that will never be exhausted, but even so, I believe that these men saw a part of the truth. The first man, the cynic, the one who asked, “Why don’t you save us?” saw through the sham of justice. And so perhaps, in that moment, he was approaching the truth of Christ’s gentleness. After all, it is Christ who says, “You have heard it said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but now I say to you, love your enemies.” The mercy of Christ is not tempered wrath, as when a king refuses to go through with an execution. This sort of king—an earthly king—is not merciful but has only chosen to be merciful for the moment. But Christ is no earthly king, and His mercy overwhelms justice. Justice is about proportion: an eye for an eye. But Christ’s mercy is abundant beyond measure and always oblivious to the worthiness of its object. In the light of Christ’s mercy, we see not only the injustice of His death, but the injustice of justice, and we see the cross as a punishment visited on men by men, and not visited on Christ by God. Christ did not endure the justice of God; He endured the justice of men and prayed that they be forgiven. In this prayer, He revealed the nature of the Father, which is impassible love, a love that desires no retribution. “You have heard it said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but now I say to you, love your enemies.” Death came to Him through by hands of men, and He did not strike back; He forgave, and manifested the Father’s infinite and deep and unconditional love.
​And the other man, the one who said, “This man has done nothing wrong”… He too came to know Christ, at least in part. In his innocence, he saw the innocence of Jesus. And he saw the form of a king in the form of a slave. He also craved absolution, and he found it—but not in the cross, not in justice. No, the only absolution union with Christ, in seeing Christ in all things, and all things in Christ. This is paradise. This is the mercy that transcends justice. This is the kingdom of heaven.

Please stand for the Nicene Creed.

Let us together affirm the faith of the Church. 

We believe in one God,

the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

eternally begotten of the Father,

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven:

was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary,

and became truly human.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again

in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

 and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

To follow


God is steadfast in love and infinite in mercy, welcoming sinners and inviting them to the Lord’s table.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, confident in God’s forgiveness.

Merciful God, our maker and our judge, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, and in what we have failed to do: we have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves; we repent and are sorry for all our sins , Father forgive us, strengthen us to love and obey you in newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

**(Note: all are encouraged to strike their breast 3 times following the lead of Fr. David as he utters the words: ‘sorry for all our sins’)**


The congregation stands.

We are the Body of Christ.

His Spirit is with us.


The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

Please greet each other with a sign of peace.

Crown him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon his throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own:
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of him who died for thee,
And hail him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.

Crown him the Virgin’s Son,
The God incarnate born,
Whose arm those crimson trophies won
Which now his brow adorn:
Fruit of the mystic Rose,
As of that Rose the stem;
The Root whence mercy ever flows,
The Babe of Bethlehem.

Crown him the Lord of years,
The Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Ineffably sublime.
Glassed in a sea of light,
Where everlasting waves
Reflect his throne – the Infinite!
Who lives – and loves – and saves.


Blessed are you, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have these gifts to share. Accept and use our offerings for your glory and the service of your kingdom.

Blessed be God forever.

 Let us pray

We do not presume to come to your table, merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your manifold and great mercies.  We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table, but you are the same Lord whose nature is always to have mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of your dear son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us.  Amen.

The Lord be with you.

and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give thanks and praise.

Father, we give you thanks and praise through your beloved Son Jesus Christ, your living Word, through whom you have created all things; who was sent by you in your great goodness to be our Saviour.

By the power of the Holy Spirit he took flesh; as your Son, born of the blessed Virgin, he lived on earth and went about among us; he opened wide his arms for us on the cross; he put an end to death by dying for us; and revealed the resurrection by rising to new life; so he fulfilled your will and won for you a holy people.

Proper Preface

Therefore with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, for ever praising you and saying:

Holy, holy, holy Lord God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.   Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness; grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit, and according to your holy will, these gifts of bread and wine may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat; this is my body  which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave you thanks; he gave it to them, saying: Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it,

in remembrance of me.

Great is the mystery of faith:

Christ has died:

Christ is risen:

Christ will come again.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross, his perfect sacrifice, made once for the sins of the whole world; rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension, and looking for his coming in glory, we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, we bring before you this bread and this cup and we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you. Send the Holy Spirit on your people and gather into one in your kingdom all who share this one bread and one cup, so that we, in the company of [N and] all the saints, may praise and glorify you for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, and in whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.


Let us pray with confidence to the Father, as our Saviour has taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.  

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

O Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

**(Note:  All are encouraged to tap their breast three times following the example of Fr. David as he utters the words ‘…have mercy, …have mercy and …grant us peace’)**

We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

Though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread.

This is the Lamb of God , who takes away the sins of the world;

Happy are those who are called to his supper.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

**(Note:  All are encouraged to strike breast following the example of Fr. David as all utter the words ‘not worthy’)** 

After Communion the celebrant and the congregation say


Let us pray.

Father of all we give you thanks and praise that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home. Dying and living, he declared your love, gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory. May we who share Christ’s body live his risen life; we who drink his cup bring life to others; we whom the Spirit lights give light to the world. 

Keep us in this hope that we have grasped; so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name.

Father, we offer ourselves to you as a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Lord. Send us out in the power of your Spirit to live and work to your praise and glory.

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit , be amongst you and remain with you always.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord:

In the name of Christ.  Amen.

Thank you all for being with us today, either here in the chapel or scattered around the world.  We are delighted to have you, to share our worship with you.

We hope that you will join us again in future weeks.

You remember please that as a Mission Church we are in need of your support to enable our ministry and you will find details of how to donate on our website

Now, if you are able please, will you stand as we sing;

(First line of last hymn)

Thy kingdom come, O God,
Thy rule, O Christ, begin;
Break with thy iron rod
The tyrannies of sin.

Where is thy reign of peace,
And purity and love?
When shall all hatred cease,
As in the realms above?

When comes the promised time
That war shall be no more,
And lust, oppression, crime,
Shall flee thy face before?

We pray thee, Lord, arise,
And come in thy great might;
Revive our longing eyes,
Which languish for thy sight.

O’er lands both near and far
Thick darkness broodeth yet:
Arise, O morning Star,
Arise, and never set.


Here is the music for this week’s hymns, if you would like to practice beforehand.

Performed by Fr. David Price

NOTE: The introductory music is ‘Salterelles’ by Tyleman Susarto.