Electronic Prayer Book

Thursday Morning — Ascension Day


Part 1. From the Roman Breviary and Roman Missal


Ascension Day




O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.

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.





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 everywhereuntil 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.


Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; let us acclaim the rock of our salvation. Let us greet Him with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalms to Him. Halleluia.

  • Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? He shall come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to heaven: Halleluia, Halleluia.
    All you people, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness.
  • Halleluia, Halleluia. God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts. The Lord advances from Sinai to the sanctuary; ascending on high, He has led captivity captive. Halleluia.
  • Chant praise to the Lord, Who rides on the heights of the heavens to the East. Halleluia.

From Psalm 22 [23]

The Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd: I want for nothing; he makes me rest in green pastures.

He leads me to waters where I may rest; he revives my spirit

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk in a dark valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me.

Your rod and your staff: these comfort me.

You set a table for me in the sight of my enemies;


You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for a long time.


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 — St. Mark 16: 14 — 20


Here we shall find the same connection as in today’s Epistle (our reading this evening)
between Christ’s departure and the start of the Church’s mission; but it is still our Lord’s work.


At that time, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were at table; and He upbraided them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart, in that they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptised shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. And these signs shall attend those who believe: in My name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak in new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall get well.” So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the preaching by the signs that followed. 


Alternative Readings

Old Testament The Gospels Epistles of St. Paul Other Epistles

Ascension Day Morning

It is fitting indeed and just, right and helpful to salvation for us always to praise You,
O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Everlasting God; through Christ our Lord. Who after His Resurrection, appeared openly to all His disciples, and, while they looked on, was taken up into heaven, that He might grant us to be sharers in His own divinity.And therefore with Angels, Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations (1) and with the whole host of the heavenly army, we sing a hymn to Your glory, saying again and again: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are filled with Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

(1)    Thrones and Dominations (or Dominions)
The ranks of Angels as referred to by St. Paul in Colossians 1: 15 — 17 and elsewhere.


Zackary’s Hymn of Praise — St. Luke 1: 68 — 79


St. Luke records (Luke 1: 67) that the father of John the Baptist, eight days after the birth of his son, “filled with the Holy Spirit’, uttered this prophecy, which has remained a daily prayer for Christians.


I ascend to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God, Halleluia.


Blessed be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people,

And has raised up a horn # of salvation for us in the house of David his servant,

As he promised through the mouths of his holy ones the prophets from of old;

Salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all our foes

He has fulfilled his kindness to all our fathers and been mindful of his holy covenant.

In the Oath to Abraham our father, by which he swore to grant us that, delivered from the hands of our enemies, we should serve him without fear.

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.


And you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

To give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins,

Because of the compassionate kindness of our God with which the Orient from on high will visit us,

To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.


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.


# “Horn of salvation.”

Horn refers originally to the power of an ox. It came to be applied to people and here, to the royal saving power of the messiah.


Repeat the appointed antiphon of the day.


The Lord’s Prayer



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.




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.




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.




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.


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