Polish bishops end Year of Mercy by enthroning Christ as King in presence of president
KRAKOW- ŁAGIEWNIKI, Poland, November 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — On November 19, at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, Poland celebrated a historical Act of Acceptance of Christ as King and Lord with a Mass at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, with the Polish bishops, government authorities, and many faithful in attendance. President Andrzej Duda from the Law and Justice Party took part in the event, thus attracting international media attention.
More than 100,000 Poles in Krakow recited the solemn pledge: “O Immortal King of Ages, Lord Jesus Christ, our God and Savior! In the Jubilee Year of the 1,050th anniversary of Poland’s baptism, in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, we Poles stand here before you to acknowledge your reign, to submit ourselves to your law, to entrust and consecrate to you our Fatherland and our whole people.”
The ceremony was organized by the Polish Bishops’ Conference, inspired by Pope Francis’ papal bull Misericordiae Vultus. In relation to the closing of the Holy Door of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the Holy Father wrote, “We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future.”
During the Mass, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow and the president of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate, said, “We invite Jesus into our hearts, families, communities, and surroundings … and to all which constitutes Poland.” The Cardinal added that all persons should not be afraid to proclaim such things.
The idea for this proclamation came from the Commission for the Movements of Christ’s Enthronement. In an October pastoral letter, the Polish Bishops explained, “There is no need to enthrone Christ in the sense of placing him on the throne and giving him the power or proclaiming him king.” However, “there is an urgent need to enthrone Christ in the hearts of the faithful, by reviving living faith and the life of faith.” Therefore, the Act contains a profession of faith and renunciation of evil.
Bishop Andrzej Czaja, president of the Groups for Enthronement, said that the primary purpose of the Act is “faithful recognition of Jesus, surrendering and entrusting our personal, family, and national lives to Him in all dimensions, and living according to God’s law.” He added, “As such, it should therefore also be an act of justice, in the sense of devoting what is due to God, and at the same time an act of obedience to God in response to His Love.”
Most of the people were not able to enter the Shrine of Divine Mercy and stood outside in the rain. Among them were members of the Right to Life Foundation, who were holding pro-life posters. Many participants interviewed by Polonia Christiana TV mentioned that they wanted Poland to ban abortion, which the ruling party Law and Justice is unwilling to do.
It appears that the Church authorities hinted at that. During the homily, Bishop Czaja said, “There is a need for clear respect for God’s law, so that man’s law does not supercede it.” He clarified that this respect would assure that “what’s morally good and ethical would not be neglected.” Bishop Czaja also talked about giving the first place to Christ in all aspects of life, including professional.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Gowin commented that the enthronement had no political meaning and that politicians present accepted Christ as King and Lord only as private citizens.
The Saturday celebration in the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow preceded the feast of the Solemnity of Christ the King in the Catholic liturgical year. Last Sunday, the Act of Acceptance of Christ as King and Lord was recited in all Catholic churches in Poland.
A short video from the celebration can be viewed here:
The full text of the Jubilee Act of Acceptance of Jesus Christ as King and Lord as translated by the Bishops’ Conference:
O Immortal King of Ages, Lord Jesus Christ, our God and Savior! In the Jubilee Year of the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s Baptism, in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, we Poles stand here before you [together with our authorities, clergy and laity] to acknowledge your reign, to submit ourselves to your law, to entrust and consecrate to you our Fatherland and our whole people.
We confess before heaven and earth that we need your rule. We acknowledge that you alone have a holy and perennial law for us. Therefore, humbly bowing our heads before you, the King of the Universe, we recognize your dominion over Poland and our whole people living in the Fatherland and throughout the world.
Desirous to worship the majesty of your power and glory, with great faith and love, we cry out to you: Christ, reign over us!
In our hearts, Christ, reign over us!
In our families, Christ, reign over us!
In our parishes, Christ, reign over us!
In our schools and universities, Christ, reign over us!
In the social communication means, Christ, reign over us!
In our offices, places of work, service and rest, Christ, reign over us!
In our cities and villages, Christ, reign over us!
Throughout the Polish Nation and State, Christ, reign over us!
We bless you and give you thanks, Lord Jesus Christ:
For the unfathomable love of your Sacred Heart, Christ our King, we thank you!
For the grace of baptism and the covenant with our People over the centuries, Christ our King, we thank you!
For the maternal and royal presence of Mary in our history, Christ our King, we thank you!
For the great Mercy that you constantly extend to us, Christ our King, we thank you!
For your faithfulness despite our betrayals and weaknesses, Christ our King, we thank you!
Aware of our faults and abuse inflicted on Your Heart, we ask forgiveness for all our sins, and in particular for turning away from the holy faith, for our lack of love for you and our neighbor. We ask you to forgive the social sins of our nation, all its defects, addictions and enslavement. We renounce the devil and all his works.
We humbly submit ourselves to Your Lordship and your law. We commit ourselves to ordering our entire personal, family and national life according to your law:
We pledge to defend your holy worship and to preach your royal glory, Christ our King, we pledge!
We pledge to do your will and to protect the integrity of our consciences, Christ our King, we pledge!
We pledge to care for the sanctity of our families and the Christian education of our children, Christ our King, we pledge!
We pledge to build your kingdom and to defend it in our nation, Christ our King, we pledge!
We pledge to engage actively in the life of the Church and to protect her rights, Christ our King, we pledge!
You, the only Ruler of states, nations and of all creation, the King of kings and Lord of lords! We entrust to you the Polish State and Poland’s rulers. Make them all those who exercise power do so with justice and govern rightly in accordance with your Laws.
Christ our King, we confidently entrust to your Mercy all of Poland and especially those of the people who do not follow your ways. Give them your grace, enlighten them through the power of the Holy Spirit, and lead us all to the eternal communion with the Father.
In the name of brotherly love, we entrust to you all the world’s nations, especially those that have made Poland bear the cross. Make them recognize you as their rightful Lord and King and use the time given to them by the Father to submit voluntarily to your lordship.
Lord Jesus Christ, King of our hearts, make our hearts like your Sacred Heart.
Let your Holy Spirit descend and renew the face of the earth, this earth. May he support us as we accomplish the obligations that are the consequences of this national act, protect from evil, and realize our sanctification.
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we place our decisions and commitments. We all entrust to the maternal care of the Queen of Polish and to the intercession of the patron saints of our Fatherland.
Christ, reign over us! Reign over our fatherland, and reign in every nation – for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of humanity. Make our homeland and the entire world into your kingdom: a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.
Thus, Poland, on the 1,050th anniversary of its baptism, has officially accepted the kingship of Jesus Christ.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
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