Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ascension Thursday at the Cathedral

(The Diocese of Harrisburg is a member of the Metropolitan Province of Philadelphia, and as such, we retain the proper celebration of Ascension on Thursday.)

Prelude: Two Strophes on the Ascension Hymn -- Alexandre Guilmant

Entrance: A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing / LASST UNS ERFREUEN

Gloria: Carroll T. Andrews

Psalm 47: Michel Guimont

Gospel Acclamation: Salisbury Alleluia

Offertory: Crown Him with Many Crowns / DIADEMATA

Sanctus, etc: Community Mass

Agnus Dei: Proulx in F

Communion: Psalm 34 -- Michel Guimont

Recessional: Go to the World / SINE NOMINE

Postlude: Andante -- John Stanley


Brian Michael Page said...

Same with our lovely little province of Hartford - Thursday. I like it that way - conforms to the calendar better.

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

Also keeps with the Biblical account of the nine days (the first novena) between the Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.


Anonymous said...

Also keeps with the Biblical figure of 40 days...

Forty Days:
- In the story of Noah and the Great Flood, it rains for "forty days and forty nights" (Gen 7:4, 12, 17; 8:6).
- It takes a full forty days to embalm the body of Jacob, according to Egyptian practice (Gen 50:3).
- Moses spends "forty days and forty nights" on Mount Sinai when receiving the Law from God (Exod 24:18; cf. Deut 9:9-25).
- Moses spends another "forty days and forty nights" on the mountain, encountering God a second time (Exod 34:28; cf. Deut 10:10)
- The Israelite spies scout out the Promised Land for forty days (Num 13:25, 34);
but due to their lack of faith, God requires the Israelites to wander in the desert for forty years (Num 14:33-34).
- The Philistine Goliath taunts the Israelite army for forty days before David fights him (1 Sam 17:16).
- The prophet Elijah travels forty days and forty nights to Mount Horeb to encounter God (1 Kings 19:8).
- The prophet Ezekiel lies on his right side for forty days to symbolize the sins of the people of Judah (Ezek 4:6).
- The prophet Jonah preaches in the Assyrian capital, "Forty days more, and Ninevah shall be overthrown" (Jonah 3:4).
- Jesus spent "forty days" in the desert before beginning his public ministry (see Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2). Matthew's Gospel even specifies that it was "forty days and forty nights" (Matt 4:2).
- After his resurrection, Jesus appears to his disciples for forty days, before ascending into heaven (Acts 1:3).

From Fr. Felix Just, SJ, at

Forty days of fasting to begin His public ministry. Forty days, as a bookend of sorts, appearing to His disciples post-Resurrection. Of course, I grew up with the concept of Ascension Thursday being a big deal. I can't seem to get used to the idea of Ascension Sunday. Should I?

PhiMuAlpha2681 said...

And if you subscribe to the other numbers (six is imperfect and seven is perfect), six weeks of Lent (Lent I-V, Passion Sunday), seven weeks of Easter.

Another reason I like the Thursday celebration is the beautiful readings for Easter 7, plus the feeling of wandering and uneasiness on the part of the disciples between the Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit.