Thursday, May 1, 2008
According to the Scriptures in Luke and Acts, Ascension Day occurs forty days after Christ's Resurrection. Following forty days on earth during which He spoke with His disciples and was seen by hundreds of people, Christ ascended into the Heavens to the right hand of the Father. Ascension Day is considered a "red letter Holy Day" in the Anglican tradition, a day in which services are held to celebrate this amazing occurrence in Scripture, and it also begins the Octave of Ascensiontide.
The Collect for the Ascension in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer:
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Scriptures for this Holy Day are Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 24:49-53. From the Gospel According to Saint Luke:
Jesus said, Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
So a blessed Ascensiontide to all!