Author Topic: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide  (Read 25736 times)

Dave Likeness

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #300 on: June 09, 2019, 05:36:31 PM »
Here are two helpful Scripture texts for this discussion:

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."  (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."  (Colossians 3:23)

In plain English, you are to do your best and give it all you got in all of life's endeavors because you are a servant
of the Lord.   

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #301 on: June 09, 2019, 06:25:27 PM »
Here are two helpful Scripture texts for this discussion:

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."  (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."  (Colossians 3:23)

In plain English, you are to do your best and give it all you got in all of life's endeavors because you are a servant
of the Lord.   


I would add another direction. What we do, especially in connection to worship services, is a witness to other people about our faith in God. While we are always imperfect people, we should desire that our witness to the God who so loves us to die for us, should be the best that we can offer to the world.


I'll add that I spent a year traveling on gospel teams. We were intentionally witnessing to God in our presentations. We would sometimes say that we rehearsed and practices as if all the success depended on us; but we prayed and perform recognize that any success came from God. We would make mistakes; and God could use them as well as using a song that we did flawlessly.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #302 on: May 19, 2020, 09:59:14 PM »
Bump for Western Ascension, A.D. 2020--the year of the Coronavirus.

In the Orthodox Church we will (in our hierarchically and gubernatorialy restricted settings) celebrate the Feast of Saints Constantine and Helen, Equal to the Apostles on Thursday May 21. *

The conversion of Constantine came through his gazing into the heavens and beholding the ensign of victory over the Milan bridge.

In that sense, there will be a "bridging" of East and West.

The "Doxa" of the Orthros Praises:

Quote
The King of kings and God,
who adorns the worthy with abundant gifts,
caught you in His net, through the sign of the Cross,
like He did to Paul the glorious, O Constantine.

He said to you, "In this sign conquer your enemies."

Thus having sought Him, as did your godly-minded mother,
and having found Him for whom you longed,
you utterly defeated them.

In company with your mother,
earnestly pray for Orthodox rulers,
and the Christ-loving armed forces,
and all of us who loyally observe your memory,
entreating Him who alone loves humanity,
to deliver us from all wrath.

This ancient hymn has acquired a whole new layer of meaning in this age of Coronavirus.

*Pascha being one week later than Western Easter this year means the Great Feast of the Ascension will be celebrated in the Holy Orthodox Church on May 28.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 10:05:04 PM by J. Thomas Shelley »
Greek Orthodox-Ecumenical Patriarchate

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Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Chrismated Antiochian Orthodox, eve of Mary of Egypt Sunday, A.D. 2015

D. Engebretson

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #303 on: May 20, 2020, 09:37:54 AM »
The Feast of the Ascension, in Lutheran circles, is unfortunately not widely celebrated, as it probably once was.  Although, in a small way I have noticed that it had an impact on our forefathers based on traditional altar art and statuary.  Even though my church has not yet opened for 'in-person' worship (our first service scheduled for May 31), I will have a live streamed Ascension Day service of the Word tomorrow night.  I have noted in my circuit over the years that I seem to be the last one still holding on to this honored festival.  Admittedly, it does not have the 'pull' of the more well known festival times.  However, it is still a high point of the Easter season and should not be overlooked, especially this year.  For having observed the passion and suffering of our Lord, then His glorious resurrection, now we see Him assume his rightful place at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us.  Victory, not defeat. 

Ascensiontide is part of an 'enthronement festival' where the coronation of Christ is celebrated, and by extension, for those 'in Christ,' the enthronement of God's people as well.  John Chrysostom declared that "our very nature...is enthroned today high above all cherubim." The Collect of the Day reflects this when we pray: "so we may also in heart and mind ascend and continually dwell there with Him..."

These themes are brought out in such hymns as "Up Through the Ranks of Angels by Jaroslav Vajda  (LSB #491) or "On Christ's Ascension I Now Build" (LSB #492) or "A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing" (LSB #493) or "See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph" (LSB #494) or "Look, Ye Saints, the Sight is Glorious" (LSB #495). With the Ascension we anticipate our Lord's return in glory and the final resurrection where death is swallowed up forever.  We celebrate the sign of His conquering and triumph over sin and death and Satan. What an appropriate festival for this time of crisis so full of sickness and death!  Instead of looking only to our present suffering, we are called to look heavenward in faithful anticipation of what we know is yet to come. We look to the heavens not in sadness, but in joy: "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven" (Acts 1:11).

As a festival of the church it was celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter already by the fourth century.  St. Augustine claimed that it was at his time celebrated "all over the world."
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #304 on: May 20, 2020, 10:28:07 AM »
I note that the TLH hymnal had 12 hymns in the "Ascension" section; LW had 6; LSB has 5.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #305 on: May 20, 2020, 10:29:31 AM »
I note that the TLH hymnal had 12 hymns in the "Ascension" section; LW had 6; LSB has 5.

I wonder if that, in part, notes less attention to this day?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #306 on: May 20, 2020, 11:15:58 AM »
I note that the TLH hymnal had 12 hymns in the "Ascension" section; LW had 6; LSB has 5.

I wonder if that, in part, notes less attention to this day?

I would think so.  Midweek services are becoming less common -- in our little community, I am not sure how many have midweek Advent or Lent services any more; Thanksgiving services, if they are is held at all, are on Wednesday night; a number of the churches have dropped Maundy Thursday services.

Birkholz

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #307 on: May 20, 2020, 12:24:24 PM »
We've celebrated a festival Divine Service at Faith, Oak Lawn for the past few years.  Most of the pastors in the circuit attend, along with a few other guests and visitors from area congregations.  I typically invite a guest pastor to preach.

This year our District President, the Rev. Allan Buss, was scheduled to preach.  We haven't opened back up yet, but he still wanted to come and preach for the online service.  The service can be viewed live on our church Facebook page at 7:00p Central.  Otherwise you can also watch the service later, and I'll post the sermon separately as well. 
Pastor Mark Birkholz
Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church
Oak Lawn, IL
www.faithoaklawn.org

James J Eivan

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #308 on: May 20, 2020, 03:19:57 PM »
Saint Athanasius Lutheran, Vienna observes Ascension Eve in accordance with sanctuary availability at 7:30 Wednesday May 20.  On demand viewers can view on their YouTube channel as well. Cross posted to Online Worship Resources as well.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #309 on: May 20, 2020, 04:34:07 PM »
I note that the TLH hymnal had 12 hymns in the "Ascension" section; LW had 6; LSB has 5.

I wonder if that, in part, notes less attention to this day?


I would check to see of some of those hymns were relocated under other sections. ELW doesn't have an "Ascension" section, but in its "Topical Index of Hymns," there are 12 listed under "Ascension." Most are in the "Easter" sections, others are spread around the hymnal, e.g., "Lord Enthroned in Heavenly Splendor" is in the "Holy Communion" section.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dan Fienen

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #310 on: May 20, 2020, 04:55:34 PM »
How many hymns does one sing at an Ascension Day Service? Do we need 12 hymns for the occasion in the hymnal to provide for an Ascension service?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

James J Eivan

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #311 on: May 20, 2020, 05:05:31 PM »
How many hymns does one sing at an Ascension Day Service? Do we need 12 hymns for the occasion in the hymnal to provide for an Ascension service?
Sing 4 or 5 on Thursday evening... another 5 or 6 on the Sunday after for those unable to attend Thursday  ... don't drop my favorites from the hymnal  ... I won't drop your favorites either ... all of a sudden you have 12 hymns.

Of course this assumes the 'old' normal. ;) 

Charles Austin

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #312 on: May 20, 2020, 05:42:39 PM »
Pastor Fienen:
How many hymns does one sing at an Ascension Day Service? Do we need 12 hymns for the occasion in the hymnal to provide for an Ascension service?
Me:
Yes, because you don’t only  sing  ascension day hymns on ascension day. That way you don’t only sing Pentecost hymns on Pentecost, or Advent teams in Advent, or Christmas hymns at Christmas time.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Eileen Smith

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #313 on: May 20, 2020, 05:56:57 PM »
The Feast of the Ascension, in Lutheran circles, is unfortunately not widely celebrated, as it probably once was.  Although, in a small way I have noticed that it had an impact on our forefathers based on traditional altar art and statuary.  Even though my church has not yet opened for 'in-person' worship (our first service scheduled for May 31), I will have a live streamed Ascension Day service of the Word tomorrow night.  I have noted in my circuit over the years that I seem to be the last one still holding on to this honored festival.  Admittedly, it does not have the 'pull' of the more well known festival times.  However, it is still a high point of the Easter season and should not be overlooked, especially this year.  For having observed the passion and suffering of our Lord, then His glorious resurrection, now we see Him assume his rightful place at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us.  Victory, not defeat. 

Ascensiontide is part of an 'enthronement festival' where the coronation of Christ is celebrated, and by extension, for those 'in Christ,' the enthronement of God's people as well.  John Chrysostom declared that "our very nature...is enthroned today high above all cherubim." The Collect of the Day reflects this when we pray: "so we may also in heart and mind ascend and continually dwell there with Him..."

These themes are brought out in such hymns as "Up Through the Ranks of Angels by Jaroslav Vajda  (LSB #491) or "On Christ's Ascension I Now Build" (LSB #492) or "A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing" (LSB #493) or "See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph" (LSB #494) or "Look, Ye Saints, the Sight is Glorious" (LSB #495). With the Ascension we anticipate our Lord's return in glory and the final resurrection where death is swallowed up forever.  We celebrate the sign of His conquering and triumph over sin and death and Satan. What an appropriate festival for this time of crisis so full of sickness and death!  Instead of looking only to our present suffering, we are called to look heavenward in faithful anticipation of what we know is yet to come. We look to the heavens not in sadness, but in joy: "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven" (Acts 1:11).

As a festival of the church it was celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter already by the fourth century.  St. Augustine claimed that it was at his time celebrated "all over the world."

To our list of hymns I'll add "Hail Thee Festival Day" v 2 with 1 sung at Easter and 3 on Pentecost. 

I'd be interested to know why we have effectively lost the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord.  Is it that services are held on a Thursday?  Something else?   Some congregations I know have joint services but I don't know of any churches around here other than Roman Catholic that commemorate this feast.

Weedon

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Re: Keeping Holy-day at Ascensiontide
« Reply #314 on: May 20, 2020, 06:04:20 PM »
Our parish has always observed it. I have no idea why it has fallen so in popularity. Many years ago a godly old layman from a neighboring parish joined us for worship that night. His congregation didn’t keep the feast. He shook his head on the way out. “I don’t understand it. This feast is so important. It’s where we still LIVE.” He was right. We still are “in Ascensiontide and the time of the session at the right hand.” This is the great feast of Christ’s Kingship (as opposed to that 20th century that pops up toward the end of the church year). And it was in the spirit of the Ascension that the feisty witnesses to St. Polycarp’s death could defiantly proclaim: “Now, the blessed Polycarp suffered martyrdom on the second day of the month Xanthicus just begun, the seventh day before the Kalends of May, on the great Sabbath, at the eighth hour. He was taken by Herod, Philip the Trallian being high priest, Statius Quadratus being proconsul, but Jesus Christ was the ruling Monarch, to whom be glory, honour, majesty, and an everlasting throne, from generation to generation. Amen.” A feast to remember who’s sitting upon the throne, having ascended to heaven, is a vital feast for the people of God. Let us work toward its joyous recovery!