Electronic Prayer Book

Thursday Evening – Ascension Day

 

Part 1. From the Roman Breviary and Roman Missal

Ascension Day

Opening

 

O God, come to my assistance,
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Halleluia.

 
 

Introduction

 

At the end of His earthy life Jesus ascends triumphantly into heaven.
The Church acclaims Him in His holy humanity, invited to sit on the Father’s right hand and to share His glory.

But Christ’s Ascension is the pledge of our own.
Filled with an immense hope hope, the Church looks up towards her leader, who precedes her into the heavenly home and takes her with Him in His own person:
“for the Son of God, after incorporating in Himself those whom the devil’s jealousy had banished from the earthly paradise, ascends again to His Father and takes them with Him”. [St. Leo]

The whole life of the Church is placed between our Lord’s Ascension and His return on the last day.
Confident that she does not wait in vain, she preaches His Gospel and spreads His grace everywhere until the day when He returns in all His Father’s glory for those whom He came down to earth to snatch from Satan’s power.

So, our Lord ascended into heaven to prepare a place for us.
His apostles were sent to teach all nations what He had commanded them.
We must now cleanse our hearts from sin, which cannot enter heaven, and store up good deeds, performed in the state of grace.
These will speak for us when we appear before God.

 

Acclamations For Reflection

 

During Ascensiontide the morning reflections are beautiful proclamations from the Bible (as used in the Roman Breviary and Roman Missal — 1962.)

Spending a moment to reflect on one or more of these prepares us to praise God using the psalms of the day, which follow.

 
 
 

Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.

 
  • Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way, Halleluia.
 
  • And while they were gazing up to heaven as He went, they said, “Halleluia!”

 

  • Extol the King of kings, and sing a hymn to God, Halleluia.
 
  • Lifting up His hands, He blessed them, and He was carried up into heaven, Halleluia.

 

  • He was lifted up before their eyes, and a cloud took Him into heaven, Halleluia.
 
 
 

From Psalm 71 [72]

The Blessing of Christ’s Reign
 

And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.

His foes shall bow down before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust.

The kings of Tharsis and of the islands shall offer tribute; the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts.

And all of the kings shall worship him, all nations shall serve him.

For he shall deliver the needy one, when he cries, and the poor man, who has no helper.

He shall take pity on the needy and the poor, and save the life of the poor.

He shall redeem th3em from harm and oppression, and precious shall be their blood in his sight.

Therefore, he shall live, and they shall give him the gold of Arabia, and they shall pray for him constantly: they shall bless him perpetually.

 

There shall be abundance of grain in the land; on the mountain-tops its fruit shall rustle like Lebanon, and the people of the cities shall flourish like the grass of the field.

His name shall be blessed forever; as long as the sun shines, his name shall endure.

And all the tribes of the earth shall be blessed in him, all nations shall proclaim him blessed.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.

And blessed be his glorious name forever.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 
 
 
 

Reading — Acts of the Apostles 1: 1 — 11

 

In the Acts of the Apostles, the account of the Ascension
is at the same time the announcement of the Church’s mission,
an essentially divine task, like that of Jesus Himself, inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit.

 

In the former book, O Theophilus I spoke of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day on which He was taken up, after He had given commandments through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many proofs, during forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while eating with them, He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, “of which you have heard,” said He, “by My mouth; for John indeed baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” They therefore who had come together began to ask Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” But He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or dates which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the very ends of the earth.” And when He had said this, He was lifted up before their eyes, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing up to heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white garments, and said to them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus Who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to heaven.”

 
 
 

Alternative Readings

 
Old Testament The Gospels Epistles of St. Paul Other Epistles
 

Hymn for Evening

 

Jesus, Author of man’s salvation and delight of his heart, Founder of the world of the redeemed and pure light of God’s lovers.

What feeling of pity was it that compelled You to shoulder the burden of our sins and, though sinless, to undergo death to set us free from death?

May your mercy prevail on You to repair the harm we have suffered and to reward us with the light of happiness, our desire to see You satisfied at last.

You are our leader and the way to heaven; may You also be the goal on which our hearts are set, our joy in tribulation and life’s sweet reward. Amen.

 

Mary’s Hymn of Praise — St. Luke 1: 46 — 55

 

Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist (Luke 1: 41 — 45), acclaimed Mary, warmly with the words: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb”  — to which Mary replied in her prophetic hymn.

 
 
 
Antiphon
   
       
 

O King of glory, Lord of hosts, this day You ascended triumphantly above all heavens! Leave us not as orphans, but send upon us the Promise of the Father, the Spirit of truth, Halleluia.

   
       

My soul magnifies the Lord.

And my spirit rejoices in God my saviour,

Because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid, for behold; henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,

Because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

And His mercy is from generation to generation toward those who fear him. — He has shown might with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

In holiness and justice before him all our days. — the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people.

 

He has put down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the lowly.

The hungry he has filled with good things and the rich he has sent empty away. -

He has given help to Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy.

(As he promised our fathers) towards Abraham and his descendants forever.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

       
     
Antiphon

Repeat the appointed antiphon of the day.

 
 

The Lord’s Prayer

 
 

Traditional

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Contemporary

Our Father, in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Prayer

It is “our Redeemer” who goes up to heaven.
What more powerful motive could we have for hoping?
The Ascension is the great feast of Christian hope.

 

Grant, we implore You, almighty God, that we who believe Your Only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into heaven, may ourselves also in mind dwell amid heavenly things. Through the same Jesus Christ Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Closing

   
 

V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

   

May the all powerful
and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
bless and preserve us.
Amen.

 

Part 2. Devotions Throughout Advent | Part 3. The Angelus | Part 4. Prayers For Protection