Sunday, May 10, 2015

BCP 2011: Fifth Sunday After Easter, Ascension, & Rogation Sunday

Icon depicting Christ's Ascension into Heaven

Today is the Fifth Sunday After Easter, and Ascensiontide begins on Ascension Day is this coming Thursday.

Ascension Day is described in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles when Jesus ascends to the right hand of the Father forty days after His Resurrection. It lasts for ten days...until Pentecost, fifty days after Easter, when the Holy Spirit descends upon the followers of Christ.

Here is the description of Christ's Ascension from Acts 1: 1-11, ESV:

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Ascension

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Today is also Rogation Sunday. Only having a vague idea of the term myself, I Googled it and found this clear and concise explanation on the website of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Ivy, Virginia:

Rogation Sunday is the day when the Church has traditionally offered prayer for God’s blessings on the fruits of the earth and the labors of those who produce our food. The word “rogation” is from the Latin rogare, “to ask.” Historically, the Rogation Days (the three days before Ascension Day) were a period of fasting and abstinence, beseeching God’s blessing on the crops for a bountiful harvest. Few of us today directly derive our livelihood from the production of food, yet it is good to be reminded of our dependence upon those who do and our responsibility for the environment.  

Book of Common Prayer 2011

Here are the Propers for today, Sunday, May 10, from The Book of Common Prayer 2011:

O LORD, from you all good things come; Grant to us, by your holy inspiration, to think of good things and then accomplish them by your merciful guidance; Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. (References: James 1.17; John 15.5; 2 Corinthians 3.5; Philippians 1.6)
James 1.22-27; John 16.23-33; Psalm 107.1-9; Psalm 66.15-end; Acts 16.25-34

May God bless you with a joyous Mother's Day, a blessed Rogation Sunday in which God provides for our needs, and the coming Ascensiontide!

In His peace,

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