Yes, I proclaim the joyful news that "Ascension Thursday" is still celebrated in the province under Cardinal Dolan of New York! It remains a Holy Day of Obligation here, along with many of the surrounding provinces. Sadly, for most of the US, this is not the case. Ascension Thursday is an endangered holyday and may eventually be altogether extinct, unless we fight for it by contacting our archbishops to express our concern. In an age when people have no problem texting for an entire hour every day, it is considered too difficult to spend one hour at Mass to celebrate one of the most important events in human history.....a key event in the Gospels, one of the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, an article of the Creed.....
"And the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures. And ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father."
Why is Ascension Thursday so important to me? Because my only child was born on that day. I went in the hospital the day before to deliver him, but the labor was unproductive and he came the next day as I was strapped down, my arms extended like Christ's on the Cross, praying the rosary on purple plastic rosary beads, fully-conscious, bringing life into the world through the shedding of my own blood....Check out my thread on this topic at "Catholic Answers Forums:" Ascension Thurs: Is it a Holy Day of Obligation in your Diocese?
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I know I said I was off for a few weeks, but I felt inspired to write today.....I have this crazy idea to write a litany.....my first one, so please don't be too harsh on me.....this litany is based on the format of the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Nomen Christi) and the traditional Mass for the Ascension.
A New Litany for an Endangered Holyday......
Litany of the Ascension of Our Lord
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
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Lord, Ascended to the right Hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
Lord, Ascended forty days after Thy Resurrection, etc.
Lord, Ascended in the company of angels,
Lord, Ascended in the company of Thy Holy Mother,
Lord, Ascended in the company of Thine Apostles,
Lord, Ascended before us, where we are to follow,
Lord, Ascended with a shout and the sound of a trumpet,
Lord, Ascended with great song,
Lord, Who shall so come as we have seen Thee going up,
Lord, Who calls us to mindfulness of heavenly things,
Lord, Who sent Thine Apostles to the uttermost part of the earth,
Lord, Who was raised up into a cloud,
Lord, Who led captivity captive,
Lord, Who saves the believer and the baptized,
Lord, Who condemns the unbeliever,
Lord, Who glorifies Thy children,
Lord, Who protects Thy children,
Lord, Who mercifully grants Everlasting Life,
Lord, Who mounts above the Heaven of Heavens to the east,
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Be merciful, spare us, O lord.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
Lord, hear us. Lord, graciously hear us.
Let Us Pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said: "Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature," grant we beseech Thee, to wage a fearless war for souls, ever defending the truth of the Good News, that we may one day follow Thee to the place of Thine Ascension, beyond the clouds. May we keep this vision before us always, making all our burdens light, all the darkness of this present life bearable.
Make us, O Lord, to reverence and keep pure, our sacred bodies, a reflection of which ascended in glorified form to the Father, Who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.