Ascension Thursday: The Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

ascension_day

Collect

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior 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 abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

The First Reading

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles                                 Acts 1: 1-11

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set 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, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Psalm 47

Clap your hands, all you peoples; *
shout to God with a cry of joy.

For the Lord Most High is to be feared; *
he is the great King over all the earth.

He subdues the peoples under us, *
and the nations under our feet.

He chooses our inheritance for us, *
the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout, *
the Lord with the sound of the ram’s-horn.

Sing praises to God, sing praises; *
sing praises to our King, sing praises.

For God is King of all the earth; *
sing praises with all your skill.

God reigns over the nations; *
God sits upon his holy throne.

The nobles of the peoples have gathered together *
with the people of the God of Abraham.

The rulers of the earth belong to God, *
and he is highly exalted.

The Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke             Luke 24: 44-53

Jesus said to his disciples, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you– that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

Prayer over the Gifts
     Eternal God, our Savior Jesus Christ has promised to be with us until the end of time. Accept all we offer you this day, and renew us in his transfigured life; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer after Communion
     Eternal Giver of love and power, your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel of his kingdom. Confirm us in this mission, and help us to live the good news we proclaim; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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