Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mosaic of Christ the King

Mosaic of Christ the King, at Resurrection Cemetery, in Shrewsbury, Missouri, USA

Mosaic of Christ the King, at Resurrection Cemetery, in Shrewsbury, Missouri. Christ is shown in royal scarlet garments, which not only symbolize his kingship, but also his passion. In the background are shown the Old Cathedral and Old Courthouse in downtown Saint Louis, which symbolize his kingship over the Church and the world.

The Feast of Christ the King only dates from the early 20th century, and nowadays is mainly observed on the last Sunday before Advent. As the liturgical texts at the end of the church year emphasize the end of times, this feast nowadays has a mainly eschatological character; however, the original feast emphasized Christ's Kingship in his Passion and the here and now. Here is the original hymn from the Office of Matins for the feast:
Lord of the ages evermore,
Each nation's King, the wide world o'er,
O Christ, our only Judge thou art,
And Searcher of the mind and heart.

Through Sin with rebel voice maintain,
We will not have this Christ to reign,
Far other, Lord, shall be our cry,
Who hail thee King of kings most High.

O thou eternal Prince of peace,
Subdue man's pride, bid error cease,
Permit not sin to wax o'er-bold,
The strayed bring home within the fold.

For this thou hangedst on the Tree
With arms outstretched in loving plea;
For this thou shewedst forth thy Heart,
On fire with love, pierced by the dart.

And yet that wounded side sheds grace
Forth from the altar's holy place,
Where, veiled 'neath humblest bread and wine,
Abides for man the life divine.

Earth's noblest rulers to thee raise
Their homage due of public praise;
Teachers and judges thee confess;
Art, science, law, thy truth express.

Let kings be fain to dedicate
To thee the emblems of their state;
Rule thou each nation from above,
Rule o'er the people's homes in love.

All praise, King Jesu, be to thee,
The Lord of all in majesty;
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Ghost for evermore. Amen.

This mosaic dates from 1974 and was made by the Ravenna Mosaic Company of Saint Louis, and is one of a series of outdoor mosaics located between two chapels in the cemetery.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark. I recently discovered your blog after having discovered your book a few months ago. I really appreciate your willingness to share your beautiful photography. It inspires an awareness of the magnificent architecture and art that surrounds us, especially in our Catholic churches, and can only serve to enrich those who visit. I have put a reference to your site in our Knights of Columbus newsletter (council 11382) in hopes that others will discover and enjoy your talent as well. Thanks again. Bob Vornberg