The Ascension, by Dosso Dossi, 16th century.
Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter, marks the day on which Jesus went to the Mount of Olives with his disciples and ascended to heaven before their eyes (Acts 1:1-12). Though often overlooked, the ascension of Christ is filled with theological significance. Christ’s ascension means that in heaven there is one who, knowing firsthand the experience of suffering and temptation, prays for us and perfects our prayers. The ascension is a witness and guarantee of our own bodily resurrection, as well as an invitation for us to set our hearts and minds “on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1-2) to rule over all things in heaven and throughout the universe (Eph. 1:10, 20-23). Finally, the ascension of Jesus serves as the prelude to Pentecost, when the power of the risen Christ came upon all believers through the Holy Spirit.
Some churches observe Ascension Day with a service on the actual day of ascension, which is always a Thursday. Others observe Jesus’ ascension on the preceding or following Sunday. As during the celebration of Easter, the liturgical colors are white and gold.
From: The Worship Sourcebook, Page 661.
- Ascension Resource Guide
- AscensionWorship Plan
- Revised Common Lectionary
- Ascension Day Resources