OK, so here's some interesting historical and theological bits to ponder as we prepare to celebrate the feast of Christ the King this weekend.
here it is if you want to read it for yourself. To my great surprise, of all the artwork available to the Vatican's liturgical planners for this event, they chose to use several images of "The Dalmatic of Charlemagne": and the dalmatic, as we all know, is the vestment now associated with deacons. The particular dalmatic in question was for many years thought to have been worn by the Emperor Charlemagne at his coronation; hence the name. It is now thought to date from the 14th century. Still, this is an interesting choice of image for a number of reasons:
1) As the notes printed at the end of the liturgical aid point out, the mission of the deacon is very similar to the mission of the emperor: to serve the people with joy and justice. It is important to see the marriage here of the secular and the sacred: both realms come from God and share in the divine mission of providing for all of God's people.
Probably the last thing the participants at this morning's ceremonies expected was to be reminded of the diaconate and its meaning in the contemporary church: but someone responsible for planning the festivities clearly wanted to make this connection, and I think it's a valuable source for reflection by all of us, especially during this weekend of Christ the King!