Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that according to his promise he abideth with his Church on earth, even unto the end of the world; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. The Roman Catholic Church in a number of countries that do not observe the feast as a public holiday has obtained permission from the Vatican to move observance of the Feast of the Ascension from the traditional Thursday to the following Sunday, the Sunday before Pentecost.
Similarly, The United Methodist Church allows the traditional celebration on Holy Thursday to be moved to Sunday.
Representations of the mystery The Latin terms used for the feast, ascensio and, occasionally, ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by his own powers, and it is from these terms that the holy day gets its name.
This image depicts copy F of the illustration currently held by the Yale Center for British Art.Certain customs or rituals were connected with the liturgy of this feast, such as the blessing of beans and grapes after the Commemoration of the Dead in the Canon of the Mass, the blessing of first fruits, afterwards done on Rogation Days, the blessing of a candle, the wearing of mitres by deacon and subdeacon, the extinguishing of the paschal candle, and triumphal processions with torches and banners outside the churches to commemorate the entry of Christ into heaven.commemorates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven.It is one of the ecumenical feasts (i.e., universally celebrated) of Christian churches, ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter, and Pentecost.The day before is the Apodosis (leave-taking) of Easter (i.e., the last day of the Feast of Easter).
Before the Vigil, the Paschal hours are said for the last time and the Paschal greeting is exchanged.
Some believe that the much-disputed forty-third decree of the Synod of Elvira (c.
300) condemning the practice of observing a feast on the fortieth day after Easter and neglecting to keep Pentecost on the fiftieth day, implies that the proper usage of the time was to commemorate the Ascension along with Pentecost.
When celebrated on Sunday, the earliest possible date is May 3, and the latest is June 6.
In the Eastern Church this feast is known in Greek as Analepsis, the "taking up", and also as the Episozomene, the "salvation from on high", denoting that by ascending into his glory Christ completed the work of our redemption.
Ascension is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox liturgical year.