Ascension Thursday

Jesus Ascension(Image in Public domain)

“When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, β€œMen of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11

Today is the beautiful feast day of the Ascension. It is the day we celebrate when Jesus took his rightful place – Ascending into heaven of His own power – at the right hand of the Father. It is also a reminder for us that someday, after the final judgement, will be reunited into our glorified body and live forever with Jesus in heaven (or eternally separated from Him in hell.)

Because of its significance, the feast of the Ascension is a holy day of obligation. From what I have read on, all the dioceses of the US – except Boston, New York, Hartford, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia – have transferred the obligation to the following Sunday, June 1. HOWEVER, here in NJ,Β  the Metuchen and Trenton Dioceses are maintaining the obligation for today, the actual feast day, and so may many others. Therefore, if you are not certain if the feast is celebrated today or Sunday in your church, I encourage you to contact your local parish office.

To read more about this glorious feast go here, here and here.

Ancient Catholic Prayer for the Ascension

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God,
that we who believe
Thine only-begotten Son our Redeemer,
to have ascended this day into heaven,
may ourselves dwell in spirit amid heavenly things. Amen.

(From the Roman Missal [6th-8th Century]. Found this beautiful prayer here.)



  1. amen amen amen..God our Father, walk through our homes this day and take away all our worries and illnesses and please watch over and heal our family’s in Your Name. amen amen amen
    Angela…recently posted…FEARLESS FRIDAYMy Profile

  2. It is so confusing. I wish we all celebrated Ascension on the same day. Thanks for the post and the links.
    Colleen…recently posted…Sunday Snippets – June 5My Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says

      I’m with you. The bible says that Jesus Ascended into heaven 40 days after his Resurrection – NOT “the Sunday after 40 days”!!

  3. Our diocese moved the feast to Sunday so on Ascension Thursday I read and meditated on the propers from the 1962 missal. Since I attend the extraordinary form today we celebrated the Sunday after the Ascension. (We had no priest available to celebrate Ascension Thursday for us this week.)
    Barb…recently posted…Sunday Snippets – A Catholic CarnivalMy Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says

      It is good that you were aware of this and remembered to meditate on the readings for the Ascension. πŸ™‚ I went to a church in a different diocese, expecting today to be the Ascension, only to find that they also celebrated the Ascension on Thursday!

  4. Well, with the UK & Welsh bishops reinstating meatless Fridays, there might yet be hope for reinstituting weekday Holy Days of Obligation like the Ascension. I’m not saying I expect it next year, but maybe before I die. πŸ™‚

    • SimpleCatholic says

      That would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? I try to do meatless Fridays personally, but I wish it would be formally reinstated here in the US and not just “recommended”.

  5. Maybe because the holy day fell within the four-day post-Memorial Day week, with so many school activities crammed into last week – talent show, spelling bee, two field trips, a Scholastic Book Fair, Walk-A-Thon! I was so thinking that it’s time to move it to Sunday in the Trenton Diocese!

    Obviously I wasn’t able to make every school event.

    None of the three mass times were ideal, and I forget that a weekday holy day service runs roughly twenty minutes longer than a ordinary weekday service. So I was later than planned getting to the school’s library Thursday morning to volunteer-help with some of the younger grades.

    The diocese is no democracy but – and I never thought I’d say this – I’d vote for moving it.

    • SimpleCatholic says

      I think my memory is skewed because I thought I remembered the Trenton diocese transfered the Solemnity to Sunday when I was growing up, but when I came came back to NJ, I was surprised that it was celebrated on the actual Thursday.

      Personally, I don’t have a preference when it is celebrated, but I think celebrating it on Sunday is better as a whole, because so many people, like yourself, just can’t make Mass during the week – holy day or not.

  6. We celebrated this feast this morning–one of the many dioceses that transferred it. πŸ™‚
    Kathleen Basi…recently posted…Weird Things Seen on a Road Trip to Southern Illinois, and other Quick TakesMy Profile

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