“On this feast day […] the Church proclaims the Kingdom of Christ, already present, but still growing in all its mystery towards its full manifestation. You, young people, are indispensable bearers of the dynamics of the Kingdom of God, the hope of the Church and the world.” St. John-Paul II
The feast of Christ the King was instituted by Pope Pius XI on 11th December 1925. The feast day ends the liturgical year which is organised around the major feasts of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Ascension and All Saints.
The celebration of WYD at the local level on the Solemnity of Christ the King
At the end of the Eucharistic celebration of the Solemnity of Christ the King on 22nd November 2020, Pope Francis wanted to relaunch the celebration of WYD in individual Churches and announced that, from 2021, this celebration, which was traditionally held on Palm Sunday, would henceforth be held on the Sunday of the Solemnity of Christ the King.
On this day, the Holy Father wanted the whole Church to put young people at the centre of its pastoral attention, to pray for them, to take action that would make them co-protagonists, and to promote communication campaigns.
This celebration should be part of a broader pastoral journey, of which WYD is only one stage. It is therefore not surprising that the Holy Father declared, “Youth ministry can only be synodal, in other words, constitute a ‘walking together’.”