Saturday, May 15, 2010, the eve of the Feast of the Ascension
Seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth: The Lord is his name. Amos 5:8
Psalm 112 (113)
Praise, servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord.
Let the Lord’s name be blessed,
now and for ever.
From the sun’s rising to its setting,
the Lord’s name is to be praised.
The Lord is high over all peoples,
his glory is above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, who lives on high,
who bends down to watch over heaven and earth?
He raises the weak from the ground,
the poor from the dunghill,
raises them among the princes,
the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a household,
makes her the happy mother of children.
God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved – and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
The Phos Hilaron (Φῶς Ἱλαρόν)
From the 1979 American Book of Common Prayer
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
translation used by the Orthodox Church in America at vespers
O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.
As sung in the Ruthenian Catholic Church
O Joyful Light of the holy glory of the Father Immortal, the heavenly, holy, blessed One, O Jesus Christ, now that we have reached the setting of the sun, and see the evening light, we sing to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (+). It is fitting at all times to raise a song of praise in measured melody to you, O Son of God, the Giver of Life. Therefore, the universe sings your glory.
From The Cloud of Unknowing:
From DotCommonweal On Not Craning One’s Neck
May 13, 2010, 3:37 am
Posted by Robert P. Imbelli
Christ ascended physically in the presence of all his disciples and sent the Holy Spirit as he had promised...
Beyond the superior symbolic value of rising upward, however, the direction of his movement is quite incidental to the spiritual reality.
The access to heaven is through desire. He who longs to be there is really there in spirit. The path to heaven is measured by desire and not by miles. For this reason Saint Paul says in one of his epistles, “Although our bodies are presently on earth, our life is in heaven.”
Love and desire constitute the life of the spirit. And the spirit abides where its love abides, as surely as it abides in the body which it fills with life. We need not strain our spirit in all directions to reach heaven, for we dwell there already by love and desire.
O God, fill us with rejoicing and reverent thankfulness,
for Christ your Son’s ascension lifts us up with him.
We, his mystical body, are called in hope
to where he, our Head, has preceded us in glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.