What is the Order of Christ the King?
THE ORDER OF CHRIST OUR MOST HOLY REDEEMER AND HEAVENLY KING was founded in Leeds, England on the Feast of Christ the King in 1900. The unwritten motto of the Order came to be the Pauline directive, “be in the world, but not of it.” Our founders sought to strengthen their daily lives through a common discipline of devotion and study thereby encouraging the faithful to participate more fully in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church.
Over the decades as a matter of practicality our members developed the habit of abbreviating our identity to the Order of Christ the King. It was also thought this would be better to express our core identity to non members. The Order of Christ our Most Holy Redeemer and Heavenly King remains our official designation and will ever remain so, that we might honor our Blessed Organizers and stay true to our noble Patrimony. The initials which follow the names of those who are professed members of the Order stand for the name of the Order as it appears when written in Latin: Ordo Christus Rex, which is literally translated as the Order of Christ the King.
The Rule of the Order never provided for a monastery or other mother house for her members. Nor has there been any connection, official or otherwise, with any of the various established religious societies within any of the traditionalist Old Catholic or Anglican Communions. In this respect, the Rexists remain a unique century old singular witness to the great diversity which exists within the religious life of the Holy Catholic Church.
The chief source of unity which exists among our members is our unceasing mission to promote devotion to Christ our Lord and King, while devoting our entire being to a life of unconditional service to His Bride the Church. All professed members of the Order undergo a rigorous period of self-examination prior to acceptance into the Order. All professions must be made in a public liturgical setting and authorized by the Master General or his duly appointed representative.
Masters-General of the OCR
The Revd. Alban Cockerham 1918-1951
The Most Revd. E. Vance Harkness 1951-1963
The Most Revd. Jay Davis Kirby 1963-1989
The Most Revd. John Charles Maier 1989-2013
The Most Revd. Josephus Johannes Palumbo 2013-
Qualifications for membership
Ordained male clerics, male candidates for Holy Orders, and laity of both genders are eligible to become members of the Order. Of those in Holy Orders, only males may apply for membership in the O.C.R. We invite you to explore the opportunity to serve with us.
- A deep desire to grow in love for God and his creation through consecration to Christ our Redeemer and King.
- Strong interest in promoting Christian values in today’s society.
- Moral, emotional, and psychological maturity.
- A self-supporting profession or occupation.
- Freedom to live the Rexist way of life (attendance at the basic OCR gatherings).
- Good health and at least 18 years of age: applicants will be considered through senior years.
Rexists do not live in community together but share a fraternal and supernatural bond with their brothers and sisters in the Order. They encourage and support one another in living their commitment to the Gospel way of life, forming a Christian community of ideals, work and prayer. When Rexists live in the same geographical area, they come together at least weekly for a day of fellowship. Rexists not living in proximity with other Order members make their day of fellowship with like-minded Christians whenever possible.
Our Name and Identity
The name “The Order of Christ the King” reminds its members of the purpose of their consecration, the mission of giving witness to Christ, firstborn of all creatures, Lord and King of the universe and center of history. Rexists collaborate in spreading the reign of God. They become an original sign of the mission of the Church in the world. Through lives of witness and service, members become a leaven to transform the world from within.
The Rexist Way
DEVOTION TO CHRIST THE KING: Members of the Order of Christ the King are devoted to Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
SERVICE: A member of the Order of Christ the King is a servant to all who are in need; striving to always be of assistance, as the Lord enables him or her
DISCIPLINE: Members of the Order of Christ the King must walk in Godly discipline, not forsaking their duties.
FELLOWSHIP: Members of the Order of Christ the King are united in the love of Christ. Though physical distance may separate members one from another, the spiritual life increases the bond of fellowship.
REGULAR WORSHIP: Members of the Order of Christ the King shall, as they are able, regularly attend worship services, the Sacraments, and be faithful in prayer.
HOSPITALITY: Members of the Order of Christ the King endeavor to always be hospitable, showing kindness and generosity to strangers and acquaintances alike.
CHARITY: Godly love shall ever be the mark of a Christian; love for God and love for our fellow human beings shall be the daily striving of all Rexists.
The Rexist brother or sister is concerned with the spiritual lives not only of the community around us, but of the Church at large, Members of the Order are to attend Christian worship services regularly, and are encouraged to observe morning and evening prayer, as well as other spiritual devotions.
Members of the Order of Christ the King are encouraged to perform acts of mercy, and to be of benefit to others.
Prayer for the Rexists
O Lord Jesus Christ, who callest Thy servants to follow the example of they perfect life; we beseech Thee to open their ears to the utterance of Thy voice, and their eyes to the vision of saintly perfection; and grant unto the Rexist Order a constant increase of advancement of the glory of Thy kingdom; who livest and reignest God, world without end.