Christ the King

Cooking Through the Christian Year


This window is a small section of an original stained glass window from First United Methodist Church of Pensacola, Florida. On the south wall of the Main Sanctuary, this window was sponsored by the family of Thomas S. Hannah during the original construction of the sanctuary in the early 1900s.

The symbol of a cross passing through a crown is a common Christian symbol found in church stained glass, especially of this era. The emblem is often interpreted as symbolizing the reward of heaven (the crown) that comes after the trials of earthly life (the cross). The cross and crown image in this window also includes a palm branch, reminding the viewer of the events of Holy Week. During Holy Week, Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem with palm branches on Palm Sunday (palm), was crucified on Good Friday (cross), and was resurrected on the third day, which we celebrate on Easter Sunday (crown).

Christ the King

Christ the King Sunday, or Reign of Christ Sunday, is the newest high holy day in the Church, instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. It was designed to combat the rise of secularism and nationalism in the world by stating that it was Christ who has true authority over human life. As nationalism grew in the world, the day was embraced by most Protestants as well, to offer a theological antidote.

While originally celebrated on the Sunday after All Saints’ Day, it was moved to the last Sunday of the church year. This gives the day a special significance, reminding us that Christ has the final word in history. The day is heavy in apocalyptic themes and is a celebration that Christ will return and set all things right. This future-oriented theme dovetails perfectly with the season of Advent, which begins with a focus on the Second Coming of Christ.

Because Advent is a penitential season, this day retains elements of carnival, the celebration before a fast. For Americans, this day also falls near Thanksgiving and can give a theological purpose to the week before Advent.

To celebrate Christ the King Sunday, we are making a Crown Roast of Lamb, one of the most beautiful and ornate entrees imaginable.

The “crown” is formed by connecting at least two racks of lamb, end to end, into a circular shape with the rib bones sticking up. Those rib bones are frenched, or cleaned, for presentation, which makes the two racks of lamb look even more like a crown.

Crown Roast of Lamb

Crown Roast of Lamb

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Course: EntreeCuisine: European/AmericanDifficulty: Hard
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The Crown Roast of Lamb is not only visually stunning, but it also offers a unique and delicious flavor profile that is sure to impress any guest. The meat is tender and juicy, with a subtle gaminess that is perfectly balanced by a rich, savory flavor. Crown Roast of Lamb is often served with a variety of delicious sides such as roasted potatoes, asparagus, or a seasonal salad. With its elegant appearance and exquisite flavor, Crown Roast of Lamb is a true showstopper that is sure to impress.

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  • 1 crown roast of lamb, prepared by a butcher

  • salt and pepper (for flavor)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°F and position the oven rack low enough to fit the crown roast. Season the crown roast with salt and pepper, then place it on a rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until the lamb registers 115°F in the center.
  • When the lamb reaches 115°F, remove it from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to the highest possible setting. Cover the lamb rib bones with foil. Return the lamb to the oven, checking the temperature every 5 minutes until it is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 125 to 135°F. This should take around 10 minutes. Let the lamb rest for at least 15 minutes before enjoying.