This is it! After forty days of celebrating our Lord’s resurrection, this is the last week to joyfully proclaim the Good News! Christ is Risen! He has conquered death by death, granting life to those in the tombs and opening the doors of paradise to all.
Ascension is this Thursday.
And Ascension marks the Leave-taking of the Paschal Season, forty days after Jesus’ Resurrection, when He continued to teach and instruct His Disciples on God’s desires and plan for humanity. (Luke 24: 45-54)
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The Ascension of Jesus
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple,praising God.
Things you might notice in church after Ascension
- We’ve stopped singing Christ is Rise, (Before Liturgy begins, at the Small Entrance, after Communion, and at the very end.)
- The priest is not holding a candle.
- We go back to singing “More Honorable than the Cherubim” after the Consecration of the Gifts.
- The priest might be wearing a different color although any of the “bright colors” are an option outside of Lent.
Quick little trivia… Ascension is always on a Thursday. Forty days after a Sunday is always a Thursday. 🙂
Waiting for Pentecost and the Holy Spirit
One thing that wont change is the kneeling part. We will continue to stand during the Consecration of the Gifts until the Kneeling Prayers that are read during Pentecost.
Worship protocol calls for us to always stand for the Consecration on Sundays because Sunday is always a Day of the Resurrection. But historically and for practicing purposes, most Greek Orthodox churches kneel for the consecration.
Yes, it seems people have stopped kneeling in personal prayer and no longer attend weekday Liturgies… so if we didn’t kneel on Sundays, when would we learn to kneel in prayer? When would we experience this important posture in prayer? This is why kneeling is permitted on Sundays while acknowledging it is not the best option.
So there it is! You have 5 more days to sing Christ is Risen. Then it goes back into the Treasure Box of Traditions until next year. But don’t start kneeling on Sundays until the Kneeling Prayers on Pentecost- 50 days after Jesus’ Resurrection.
It’s not too late to send a card proclaiming the God News!