POSTPONED: Ascension of the Lord

From a friend:

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Iacobus M says:

    “And that whole thing about picking up your cross and following me, well . . . never mind.”

  2. NBW says:

    It’s sad we are denied a proper Ascension Thursday Mass.

  3. APX says:

    I had to drop something off at the parish office today and said to the receptionist, “Happy Feat of the Ascension!” to which I got the look of death from someone who overheard me in the office.

  4. dominic1955 says:

    Not in Nebraska…

  5. tioedong says:

    Father, in the past “holy days” were holidays: Here in the Philippines, they shut down businesses, had fiestas/parades/parties with free food for the poor, and of course before the parade, you went to mass. And not just for Holy days of obligation: We do this for the fiesta of our local shrine and parishes.

    In the USA, however, “holidays” are another burden on those of us who work: the masses often are hard to attend (we moms end up going in the evening, half exhausted and too tired to pray, and often our kids object because they have homework).

    Maybe making Thanksgiving and Memorial day “holydays” i.e. baptizing the feast like the missionaries did for pagan holidays, would help…

  6. Simon_GNR says:

    NBW: “It’s sad we are denied a proper Ascension Thursday Mass.”

    My thoughts are just the same, plus a feeling of shame that in this matter, as in some others, such as the correct order of the sacraments – i.e. Confirmation before First Holy Communion , the Anglicans are doing things “properly”, and the one, Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church (the one and only Church founded by Christ) is doing things wrongly!!

    If enough Catholic laity wrote to the Bishops’ Conference (England & Wales in my case) about this, would they change things back to the true calendar in whch the Ascension is forty days after Easter? Or, would they be too proud to admit to a mistake about this?

  7. Robbie says:

    One of the many short comings of the new rite.

  8. Vecchio di Londra says:

    The dioceses/archdioceses cannot forbid the faithful from holding the Feasts in the 1962 Latin Rite on the day traditionally appointed in the EF calendar. (Some busybodies did fleetingly try to get traditional feastdays transferred in the EF as well as the OF, but they were just lovingly and smilingly ignored.)

    The TLM mass listings calendar for E&W shows just how many EF celebrations of Ascension Thursday there were today: several in London, including a sung Mass with music by Morales, Palestrina and Lassus. What a treat after a day of hard work. A feast for the ears as well as for the soul.

    I spent some time at Mass praying for the intentions of all those deprived of the Mass of the Ascension on Ascension Thursday.

    What if: people start to come to the TLM *because* it follows the traditional calendar of feastdays? If the bishops continued to stonewall with their policy of ‘No Worship Except on Sundays: Because We Say So’ they’d lose the people to the older liturgy.

    Reason No. 3,905,763 for SP?

  9. Vecchio di Londra says:

    PS Fr Z’s caption made me laugh.

    When the trumpet sounds, and Our Blessed Lord Comes Again to judge us all, I expect there’ll be some bossyboots wagging a finger and announcing that the Last Day has been transferred to Sunday ‘because that’s what the bishop wants’.

  10. Fern says:

    Well, there were more persons at “daily” Mass this morning, so that’s a plus! Personally, I got so confused trying to figure what I was supposed to read in the Liturgy of the Hours that I gave up and read everything for Ascension Thursday which makes more sense anyway. :)

  11. keithp says:

    That is pretty funny, Father.

    I happened to click on the on line weekly bulletin of a local parish and noted that they have this coming Sunday listed as “Assumption Sunday”. Polite email and voicemail request for correction remains unanswered.

  12. scholastica says:

    Fr. Z, lol!

    Vecchio, rofl!

    Keithp, just sad.

  13. Jim Dorchak says:

    “Ascension of the Lord” has been discontinued in Chile due to lack of interest…… or that is what I heard?

  14. majuscule says:

    Neener neener neener…I got to go to an EF Ascension Thursday Mass on Thursday and I’ll get to go to an OF Ascension Thursday Sunday Mass on Sunday!

    Feeling richly blessed!

  15. Chon says:

    We had an EF Mass tonight (Thursday!) for the Ascension in Portland, Oregon! It was a low Mass by a diocesan priest at the Dominican parish in central Portland. Quite a few people were there. Maybe we can have a high Mass next year, who knows. I’ve been going to that parish for about 10 years, and this is the first time we’ve had Ascension Thursday. Alleluia!

    We had an awesome Dominican Rite Requiem High Mass on Memorial Day. Cantores in Ecclesia outdid themselves.

  16. JohnNYC says:

    Here in Rhode Island today (actually it is after midnight right now, so, “yesterday”) Thursday we were blessed to have Fr. Santos celebrate an Extraordinary Form Missa Cantata at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Providence.

  17. mpolo says:

    RE: Holy Days as Holidays.

    As far as I can tell, that’s more or less the attitude here in Germany. A day with Catholic religious connotations has obligation to attend Mass if and only if it is a holiday in your state (which can be awkward when dioceses go over state borders, I suppose). This means that our days of Obligation are: Christmas, 2nd Day of Christmas [St. Stephen], Mary Mother of God, Ascension, Pentecost Monday. In Bavaria and North-Rhine Westphalia (possibly a few others), you can add Corpus Christi and All Saints. On the other hand, German Unity Day and the Protestant “Prayer and Repentance Day” (only officially celebrated in a couple of states in former East Germany) are not days of obligation in the Catholic world, nor is “Rose Monday” (the Monday before Ash Wednesday, and the end of Carneval, and a de facto state holiday in NRW).

  18. Imrahil says:

    Dear mpolo,

    Rose Monday is a societal holiday and the end of Carnival in NRW? You never cease to learn… I always thought that, although the Rhenish parades are indeed on Monday, Shrove Tuesday is stull the more important of the two.

    Otherwise, quite correctly described. (Easter Monday’s a holiday too though.) I sometimes add that in the ordinary form, they have “Monday in the nth week of Ordinary Time, The day of the compulsory Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, Holy Day of obligation”…

    In fact, Good Friday is a holiday and hence pretty much treated as if it were of obligation (by the practicing populace that is). We do attend Mass more largely on one occasion that is a workday: Ash Wednesday. And to a degree Holy Thursday, but that’s in the evenung befire a holiday after all.

    Well, the point of a feast is not to be a burden – that’s what fasting days are there for.

    On the other hand, our sort of Thanksgiving is primarily a Church feast (on the Sunday after St. Michael). Hence I wonder why there’s no (as I’ve been told there is no) largely attended Votive Mass to Give Thanks on that day, possibly with obligation.

  19. OrthodoxChick says:

    My children’s Diocesan Catholic school had a school-wide Mass for the Holy Day of the feast of the Ascension yesterday. I went to that. And, one of their teachers was accepted into the Catholic Church at this Mass. She was supposed to enter at Easter like everyone else, however she had fractured her spine and was bedridden for several months. It was wonderful to see how excited all of the students were. Even the younger ones seemed to understand it. It was an N.O. Mass, but quite lovely.

    Thank God that it’s still Ascension Thursday in the Diocese of Norwich (CT).

  20. aquinas138 says:

    One of the benefits of attending a Byzantine parish – no yearly consternation over Epiphany and Ascension being moved from their immemorial day. In fact, it’s pretty rare for things to get transferred ever in the Byzantine rite.

    A Ukrainian priest I was a research assistant for told me he just couldn’t understand Latins moving feast days around – the Epiphany/Ascension thing being the most egregious example, but I suspect the practice of transferring impeded solemnities (and several other ranks of feast in the past) was also meant. He made the observation that the Latin Church’s commitment (obsession?) with the “day of obligation” concept led to aberrations like this. The Ukrainian Church and the Eastern Churches generally don’t have days of obligation, yet these days are well attended (the Divine Liturgy AND Great Vespers the evening before). He felt – and I agree – the day of obligation is really only a burden to the pious and observant who have trouble making it for whatever reason. Those who aren’t going to come aren’t going to come whether there’s an obligation or not – they don’t come regularly on Sunday as it is. He said that if you have reverent, meaningful liturgy, the people will come. I think that’s true, as in the Roman rite, Ash Wednesday is always one of the best attended liturgies, yet it is not a day of obligation.

  21. Imrahil says:

    Well, dear aquinas138,

    as to the Byzantine, and pious-circles, and modernizers’, distaste for the concept of Holy Days of Obligation,

    we Latiners simply have thought the thing through.

    Noone will suppose that a person who does not attend Church at all could possibly have a Catholic religiosity other than in a quite flawed way (read: grave sin, at least objectively).

    Noone in his senses will suppose that each single moment of life must at all costs be spent in actual prayer (not the habitual one Scripture speaks of when she says that we must not cease to pray).

    Hence some line must be drawn somewhere, and surely the Church’s claim of obedience can settle the details. Then we have a fine norm, happily to fulfil and happily to overfulfil if we like to. (I think, though, that some moral theologians have held that who only attends the masses of obligation cannot generally be excused from venial sin. Here the things are not so clear, but after all that’s of comparatively secondary importance.)

    Dear Simon_GNR, on an aside matter, I think there is good reason to defer Confirmation till some years after age of reason (though not as much as the present trend is) while not denying Communion to a baptized person in the state of grace past the age of reason, however unconfirmed. The “traditional order” which follows from the order observed in baptized adults is, here, in my view “mere tradition”, nor is the Eastern way an ideal who, in immediately confirming even the children, seem to lose all of Confirmation’s proper role in popular reception.

  22. Giuseppe says:

    I remember traveling to Berlin a decade or so ago on Himmelfahrt (that name always made me giggle, by the way), and many businesses were closed. My German/English friend translated the feast day as “himmel” – heaven – and “fahrt” – the gust of wind which propelled Jesus upward. (Actually I should go to confession for laughing at that one.)

  23. John says:

    I went to my church Thursday morning. The attendance was sparse and none of the school children were there. In the missal I was going over the readings for the Ascension holy day but they did the week day one. I was glad to attend the mass, to kneel, pray, ask for forgiveness and strength.

    From Ann Barnhardt – “…. they watched Him ascend to heaven in a terrifying and awesome display, the purpose of which was to put an exclamation point of masculine command on the Great Commission to go forth and spread the Gospel to every corner of the earth. He could have just disappeared. He could have walked off into some trees and vanished without any drama. But He didn’t do that. He went all Saturn V on them. And you know what? That’s exactly what those people did. They went forth and spread the Gospel, and most of them were executed for doing it. Why? Because masculine strength is inspiring and beautiful and attractive and good – these are Godly qualities. ….think Patton. Think Aragorn (fictional). Think Charles Martel. These leaders are mere types that point to the ultimate Man and Leader of Men, Jesus Christ.”

  24. Justin_Kolodziej says:

    I went to the Byzantine parish/ I had to learn a new reponse set: Christ is ascended! From Earth to Heaven for our salvation!

  25. Mike says:

    The USCCB needs to engage religious bodies like the ELCA with an important message:
    Knock it off.

  26. Mike says:

    Augggh, wrong thread… but I stand by my opinion.

  27. Imrahil says:

    I remember traveling to Berlin a decade or so ago on Himmelfahrt and many businesses were closed.

    Pity that you had to take only Berlin for your impression of Germany, where they might have been going around law with exceptions, circumventions and the like.

    On a genuine Germany Ascension Day, every business is closed except for the gas station and maybe the bakery (and that only until 11 o’clock in the morning). And, many bakeries close on the very high holidays (including Ascension) even though they have open on Sundays.

  28. Imrahil says:

    (Businesses closed: Excepting restaurants and entertainment, too, of course.)

  29. msc says:

    The best thing about the Ascension in Germany is the German word for it: Himmelfahrt (Heaven-journey). That’s so much punchier than Ascension.
    Check out Bach’s cantata for the Ascension (BWV 11; sometimes called The Ascension Oratorio): lovely music [for Lutherans ;-) ]. It’s a great way to meditate on the even. I recommend ; but for those who want to throw some Amazon business Fr. Z.’s way, consider THIS or THIS.

  30. kiwiinamerica says:

    This single issue is probably the most eloquent and potent statement on why Catholicism has withered in the US. It gives us an enormous insight into episcopal thought processes and missionary zeal and the way the US episcopate sees the culture in which we find ourselves. Simply put, it reveals a fear of making demands on Catholics and a complete lack of appreciation of the fact that for faith to grow and deepen, it must cost us something.

    This is the Church of nice, the Church of “go along to get along”, the Church of minimalism, the Church of “how can we make things easier for Catholics?” It’s a faithless, pragmatic, secular approach to ministry and it makes me want to barf!!

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