Ascension Day Mass – Complete Liturgy

Hail the day that sees him rise, Alleluia!
to his throne above the skies; Alleluia!
Christ, the Lamb for sinners given, Alleluia!
enters now the highest heaven! Alleluia!

There for him high triumph waits; Alleluia!
lift your heads, eternal gates! Alleluia!
he hath conquered death and sin; Alleluia!
take the King of glory in! Alleluia!

Lo! the heaven its Lord receives, Alleluia!
yet he loves the earth he leaves; Alleluia!
though returning to his throne, Alleluia!
still he calls mankind his own. Alleluia!

See! he lifts his hands above; Alleluia!
See! he shows the prints of love: Alleluia!
Hark! his gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
blessings on his Church below. Alleluia!

Still for us he intercedes, Alleluia!
his prevailing death he pleads, Alleluia!
near himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
he the first fruits of our race. Alleluia!

Lord, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
far above the starry height, Alleluia!
grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
seeking thee above the skies. Alleluia!

Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788), 1739

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

The Lord be with you
and also with you

Entrance Antiphon:

Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking in the sky? The Lord will return, just as you have seen him ascend, alleluia. (Acts 1:11)

My dear friends in Christ, we gather together this evening to offer this holy sacrifice to Almighty God, our heavenly father as we celebrate this the solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord to heaven.

Today we see our Lord rise in Glory to return to our heavenly Father, we have to let go, and trust in his promise that he will not only send the Holy Spirit in power to uphold us, but that he will return in power and glory to restore the Kingdom of God on this earth.

So, as we prepare ourselves to encounter Christ in these holy and sacred mysteries, we recall that Jesus is our high priest, tempted like us, yet without sin. He lives for ever in heaven to intercede for us. Through him we approach the throne of grace with confidence, and confess our sins.

Penitential Rite

Father,
we have sinned against heaven and against you.
We are not worthy to be called your children.
We turn to you again.
Have mercy on us,
bring us back to yourself
as those who once were dead
but now have life through Christ our Lord. Amen

Lord have mercy Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy Lord have mercy

Almighty God,
who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you,
+ pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,
and keep you in life eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship You, we give You thanks, we praise You for Your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; You are seated at the right hand of the Father: Receive our prayer.

For You alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, In the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Collect

Let us pray

God our Father,
make us joyful in the ascension of your Son Jesus Christ.
May we follow him into the new creation,
for his ascension is our glory and our hope.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Readings

First Reading: Acts 1.1-11

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.”
So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Second Reading: Ephesians 1.15-23

A reading from the letter of S. Paul to the people of Ephesus

Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.

This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,
O earth; and all ye heavens, rejoice!
From world to world the joy shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King.

The Lord is King! who then shall dare
resist his will, distrust his care,
or murmur at his wise decrees,
or doubt his royal promises?

He reigns! ye saints, exalt your strains;
your God is King, your Father reigns;
and he is at the Father’s side,
the Man of love, the Crucified.

Alike pervaded by his eye
all parts of his dominion lie
this world of ours and worlds unseen
and thin the boundary between

The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,
O earth; and all ye heavens, rejoice!
From world to world the joy shall ring,
The Lord omnipotent is King.

Words: Josiah Conder (1789-1855), 1824

Gospel: Luke 24.44-53

Jesus said to the disciples, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, O Christ

Homily: Ascension Day 2013

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Watching and waiting. That is what all this is about.

Before John the Baptist, the people of God were watching and waiting, looking for the Anointed One who would free them from their oppressors, looking for a kingdom in which they would rule. They watched and waited so diligently that many missed it, when in the corner of their eye, in a backwater part of the country, God stepped down into this realm and became enfleshed.

Watching and waiting. While John the Baptist was in prison, he sent messengers to ask Jesus, “Are you the one we are waiting for? Are you the one we are watching for?” Jesus asked back, “What are you looking for? Do the blind see? Do the lame walk? Were you looking for wholeness?”

Even after Jesus died, the disciples were watching and waiting. Jesus had risen from the dead, eaten fish with them, walked with them up to Mount Olivet. Jesus had continued to teach them from the law, the psalms, and the prophets. Suddenly he was lifted up and carried away on the clouds. Going back to glory! Hallelujah! And those who were with him watched the sky.
They waited and they watched. They watched and they waited. Until the angels asked them, “What are you doing? Why are you gazing into space?” The question still resounds.

Why are we gazing into space? Waiting and watching! Jesus taught us. Jesus showed us. Jesus promised to fill us with his Spirit, and through that grace, give us the power to do greater things than he did. And indeed, in only a week and a bit, the Holy Spirit comes and continues to be present so that we might do all things through the Christ who strengthens us.

He is, to be quite certain, coming back. But whilst we watach and wait, we cannot sit on our hands and bide our time. There is work to be done. Our waiting must include kingdom building, creating a realm where there are no oppressors, where there is abundance for the poor, and healing and wholeness for all the children of God.

While we wait and watch and attend on God, let us look for signs of God’s love and grace in the world and share the good news; and where there is little sign of that love and grace and good news, let us be the instruments of making that happen.

…and whilst we watch and wait, be not afraid, for Christ is present here, at this very altar, and he has been watching and waiting to welcome us.

Come.

Amen

Nicene Creed (as it is a solemnity)

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Ritual: Let go

[vimeo 11477207

 

The Peace

Jesus says: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
If you love me, rejoice because I am going to the Father.’ Alleluia.

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you

Let us offer one another a sign of peace

Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor,
first-begotten from the dead.
Thou alone, our strong defender,
liftest up thy people’s head.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Jesus, true and living bread!
Jesus, true and living bread!

Here our humblest homage pay we,
here in loving reverence bow;
here for faith’s discernment pray we,
lest we fail to know thee now.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou art here, we ask not how.
Thou art here, we ask not how.

Though the lowliest form doth veil thee
as of old in Bethlehem,
here as there thine angels hail thee,
branch and flower of Jesse’s stem.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
We in worship join with them.
We in worship join with them.

Paschal Lamb, thine offering, finished
once for all when thou was slain,
in its fullness undiminished
shall for evermore remain.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Cleansing souls from every stain.
Cleansing souls from every stain.

Life-imparting heavenly Manna,
stricken Rock with streaming side,
heaven and earth with loud hosanna
worship thee, the Lamb who died.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Risen, ascended, glorified!
Risen, ascended, glorified!

Words: George Hugh Bourne, 1874

Offertory

Pray, my brothers and sisters, that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his Church.

Prayer over the gifts

Lord,
receive our offering
as we celebrate the ascension of Christ your Son.
May his gifts help us rise with him
to the joys of heaven,
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Preface

The Lord be with you
and also with you

Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
It is right to give thanks and praise

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

Today the Lord Jesus, the king of glory,
the conqueror of sin and death,
ascended to heaven while the angels sang his praises.

Christ, the mediator between God and man,
judge of the world, and Lord of all,
has passed beyond our sight,
not to abandon us but to be our hope.
Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church;
Where he has gone, we hope to follow.

The joy of the resurrection and ascension renews the whole world,
while the choirs of heaven sing for ever to your glory:

Sanctus

Eucharistic Prayer B

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;
grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and according to your holy will,
these gifts of bread and wine
may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,
took bread and gave you thanks;
he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take, eat; this is my body
which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.

In the same way, after supper
he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
Drink this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for all
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.

Let us proclaim the mystery of faith…
Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again!

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,
his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins
of the whole world;
rejoicing in his mighty resurrection
and glorious ascension,
and looking for his coming in glory,
we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

As we offer you this our sacrifice
of praise and thanksgiving,
we bring before you this bread and this cup
and we thank you for counting us worthy
to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people
and gather into one in your kingdom
all who share this one bread and one cup,
so that we, in the company of
Our Blesséd Lady, St. Anne, St. Cecilia, St Edward,
and all the saints,
may praise and glorify you for ever,
through Jesus Christ our Lord;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

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.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

We break this bread
to share in the body of Christ
Though we are many, we are one body,
because we all share the one bread

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us peace

[Optional:

Come not because you are strong,
but because you are weak.
Come not because any goodness of your own
but because you need mercy and help.
Come because you love the Lord a little
and would like to love him more.
Come because he loves you
and gave his life for you.

This is the lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world.
Blesséd are those who are called to his supper
Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Communion Antiphon:

I, the Lord, am with you always, until the end of the world, alleluia. (Matthew 28:20)

My Jesus, My Saviour,
Lord there is no one like you,
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love.

My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing,
Power and majesty, praise to the King!
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar,
At the sound of your name!
I sing for joy at the work of your hands,
Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.

Prayer after Communion

Father,
in this eucharist
we touch the divine life you give to the world.
Help us to follow Christ with love
to eternal life where he is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

Solemn Blessing

The Lord be with you
And also with you

Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing

May almighty God bless you on this day
when his only Son ascended into heaven
to prepare a place for you. Amen.

After his resurrection, Christ was seen by his disciples.
When he appears as judge
May you be pleasing for ever in his sight. Amen.

You believe that Jesus has taken his seat in majesty
at the right hand of the Father.
May you have the joy of experiencing
that he is also with you to the end of time,
according to his promise. Amen.

and the blessing of God almighty,
the +Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen.

The mass is ended. Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of him
who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless King
through all eternity.

Crown him the virgin’s Son,
the God incarnate born,
whose arm those crimson trophies won
which now His brow adorn;
fruit of the mystic rose,
as of that rose the stem;
the root whence mercy ever flows,
the Babe of Bethlehem.

Crown him the Lord of love,
behold his hands and side,
those wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends his burning eye
at mysteries so bright.

Crown him the Lord of peace,
whose power a scepter sways
from pole to pole, that wars may cease,
and all be prayer and praise.
his reign shall know no end,
and round his piercèd feet
fair flowers of paradise extend
their fragrance ever sweet.

Crown him the Lord of years,
the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres,
ineffably sublime.
all hail, Redeemer, hail!
For thou has died for me;
thy praise and glory shall not fail
throughout eternity.

Words Matthew Bridges (1800-1894), 1852;